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Reyes v. BCA Financial Services, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division

June 26, 2018

ESTRELLITA REYES, Plaintiff,
v.
BCA FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

          OMNIBUS ORDER ON MOTION TO CERTIFY CLASS AND DAUBERT MOTIONS

          JONATHAN GOODMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Estrellita Reyes, [1');">1" name="FN1');">1" id= "FN1');">1">1');">1] individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, has sued Defendant BCA Financial Services, Inc. for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”). The TCPA prohibits, among other things, the use of an “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS”) or an artificial or prerecorded voice to call a person's cellphone absent an emergency or prior express consent. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1');">1)(A)(iii). Each TCPA violation results in damages of not less than $5');">5');">5');">500, which may be trebled for willful or knowing violations. § 227(b)(3)(B)-(C).

         BCA collects debts for healthcare companies. It does so using a “predictive dialer” maintained by Noble Systems. The phone numbers BCA calls using the Noble predictive dialer are fed into the Noble system from a separate collections software called “FACS .” FACS is loaded with phone numbers supplied by BCA's healthcare clients, which received the numbers from the patients.

         At times, BCA would also accompany some calls with an “interactive voice response” (“IVR”). The IVR is an artificial or prerecorded voice that prompted the person called to indicate, by pressing certain buttons, whether BCA had called the right person. It went something like: “If this is Jane Doe, press 1');">1; ‘if this is a wrong number,' press 2.” [ECF No. 86-1');">1, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6].

         When a call recipient pressed “2” (for wrong number), the FA C S system automatically generated a “B” flag in the call records next to that phone number. Similar, if a call recipient received a call from a live agent and indicated that the agent had called the wrong number, then the agent selected a “WN” code within the Noble system to show that this is a wrong number. BCA would not call those numbers again.

         Reyes claims that BCA, while trying to collect debts owed by certain persons, used a n AT D S to call her cellphone and those of many other potential class members. But the persons called, including her, were not the intended recipients of the calls, and therefore did not consent to be called. Stated simply, Reyes contends that BCA automatically dialed many wrong cellphone numbers, without consent or an emergency purpose, in violation of the TCPA.

         Reyes now moves to certify the class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. [ECF No. 5');">5');">5');">59');">5');">5');">5');">59]. The proposed class definition in the motion was as follows:

All persons and entities throughout the United States (1');">1) to whom BCA Financial Services, Inc. placed more than one call, (2) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, but not assigned to the intended recipient of BCA Financial Services, Inc.'s calls, (3) by using computer assisted dialing technology manufactured or designed by Noble, (4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4) from September 23, 201');">12 through September 23, 201');">16.

[ECF No. 5');">5');">5');">59');">5');">5');">5');">59]. BCA filed an opposition response, and Reyes filed a reply. [ECF Nos. 82; 94');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4].

         The parties then filed supplementary memoranda following the Court's discovery rulings. [ECF Nos. 1');">11');">12; 1');">11');">16-1');">17]. In her supplemental brief, Reyes noted that the “more than one call” limitation in her proposed class definition is no longer necessary because the TCPA no longer contains a “one-call safe harbor.” [ECF No. 1');">11');">12, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4 n.4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. And Reyes also stated in that brief, for the first time, that “this Court can properly certify a class of all persons to whom Defendant delivered a prerecorded message from April through September 201');">16.” [ECF No. 1');">11');">12, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6].

         BCA opposes class certification on several grounds. First, BCA argues that the proposed class is not readily ascertainable because the process of identifying class members is not “administratively feasible.” As part of this argument, BCA challenges the opinion of Reyes' class-administration expert, Anya Verkhovskaya. BCA also presents its own rebuttal expert, Jan Kostyun, to discredit Verkhovskaya's opinion.

         Second, BCA argues that Reyes has not established the predominance prong of class certification. BCA submits that many issues require individual proof and are thus not susceptible to class treatment, such as (a) which called parties gave consent and (b) whether a called number belonged to a cellphone at the time.

         Third, BCA argues that Reyes has not established the superiority prong of class certification. According to BCA, a class action is not superior to individual claims in this case because the potential class members have not suffered real damages, but BCA could be bankrupted if exposed to a multi-million dollar judgment.

         Fourth, BCA argues that Reyes has defined an impermissible “fail-safe” class because being a class member automatically entitles that member to relief. And in addition, BCA objects to Reyes amending her class definition to include any claims arising from the use of an artificial or prerecorded voice, because that claim was not alleged in the complaint and likewise was not raised in the class-certification motion.

         Finally, the parties seek to Daubertize[2]the other side's expert -- an informal term lawyers sometimes use when referring to efforts designed to exclude the other side from offering expert-witness testimony at trial. In this case, the Daubert motions concern the class-certification motion, and, in particular, the experts' opinions on how potential class members are identified and how cellphone data is discerned.

         For the reasons outlined below, the Court denies without prejudice the motion to strike Verkhovskaya's expert testimony, grants in part and denies in part the motion to certify class, and denies as moot the motion to strike Kostyun's expert testimony.

         First, the Court finds that Verkhovskaya's opinion testimony is admissible under Daubert for the purpose for class-certification purposes. But this ruling does not preclude BCA from challenging any opinion Verkhovskaya may give at trial.

         Second, the Court finds that the proposed class is ascertainable and administratively feasible and that the proposed class meets the requirements of Rule 23(b)(3). The Court also rejects the argument that the class definition creates an impermissible fail-safe class. Moreover, the Court will amend the class definition to remove the no-longer-viable “more than one call” limitation.

         The Court, however, denies the motion to certify class to the extent that it includes claims arising from the use of a prerecorded or artificial voice. Reyes did not plead that claim in the Complaint, she never amended the Complaint to add that claim, and that claim was not raised as a basis for class certification in the class-certification motion, even though it could have been.

         Third, given the ruling on class certification, the Court need not rule on the admissibility of Kostyun's expert testimony, which, for all practical purposes, is a rebuttal to Verkhovskaya's expert testimony (and furthers the effort to strike Verkhovskaya's opinions). But Reyes may seek to challenge Kostyun's expert testimony at trial.[3]

         I. Background

         A. Procedural History

         Reyes filed a class-action Complaint against BCA for allegedly violating the TCPA. [ECF No. 1');">1, p. 9');">p. 9].[4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4" name="FN4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4" id="FN4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4] Reyes claimed that BCA “violated 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1');">1)(A)(iii) by using an automatic telephone dialing system to place non-emergency calls to Plaintiff's cellular telephone number, absent prior express consent.” [ECF No. 1');">1, p. 9');">p. 94');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">74');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. Reyes also alleged that BCA used an ATDS to call many potential class members. [ECF No. 1');">1, pp. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6-9].

         In her Complaint, she proposed the following TCPA class:

All persons and entities throughout the United States (1');">1) to whom BCA Financial Services, Inc., placed, or caused to be placed, calls (2) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, (3) by using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, (4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4) within the four years preceding the date of this complaint, (5');">5');">5');">5) absent prior express consent-in that the called party was not the intended recipient.

[ECF No. 1');">1, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 64');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">44');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4].

         Reyes then moved to certify her TCPA class. [ECF No. 5');">5');">5');">59');">5');">5');">5');">59]. In her motion, Reyes amended her proposed class definition to read as follows:

All persons and entities throughout the United States (1');">1) to whom BCA Financial Services, Inc. placed more than one call, (2) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, but not assigned to the intended recipient of BCA Financial Services, Inc.'s calls, (3) by using computer assisted dialing technology manufactured or designed by Noble, (4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4) from September 23, 201');">12 through September 23, 201');">16.

[ECF No. 5');">5');">5');">59');">5');">5');">5');">59].

         BCA filed an opposition response to class certification, and Reyes filed a reply. [ECF Nos. 82; 94');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. The parties also filed cross-Daubert motions, and those motions were fully briefed. [ECF Nos. 88; 90; 97-1');">100]. Then, following a series of discovery rulings concerning BCA's call records, the parties filed supplemental briefing on class certification. [ECF Nos. 1');">11');">12; 1');">11');">16-1');">17].

         In addition, Reyes moved for summary judgment on her individual TCPA claim. [ECF No. 86]. She presented three issues to the Court: (1');">1) whether the Noble predictive dialer used by BCA meets the definition of an ATDS; (2) whether Reyes is entitled to treble damages; and (3) whether Reyes could raise claims for TCPA violations involving an artificial or prerecorded voice where those claims were not pled in the Complaint.

         Because it concerned several threshold issues, the Court took up the summary judgment motion first, granting it in part and denying it in part. [ECF No. 1');">124');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. First, the Court granted summary judgment in Reyes' favor on the ATDS issue, finding that the Noble predictive dialer, as BCA used it, qualifies as an ATDS under the TCPA. Second, the Court denied summary judgment to Reyes on the treble-damages issue because, at least at the summary-judgment stage, the Court could not determine whether BCA acted willfully or knowingly. Third, the Court denied summary judgment to Reyes on the artificial-or-prerecorded-voice issue because the Complaint alleged only that BCA violated the TCPA through the use of an ATDS, not an artificial or prerecorded voice, which is a separate statutory basis for relief that she should have raised in an amended pleading.

         B. Factual Background

         In the summary-judgment briefing, the parties did not dispute the majority of the underlying facts. Some of those undisputed facts are pertinent to the class-certification issues presently at hand; the parties rely on those facts in their class-certification memoranda. So they are set forth below.

         BCA is a receivable management company operating in the medical billing industry for the recovery of past due debt. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, p. 1');">1; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5]. In general, BCA “receives accounts from its various medical or healthcare provider clients and calls the telephone number provided to the client by the patient.” [ECF Nos. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 1');">1; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. BCA “utilizes ‘computer assisted dialing technology' manufactured and designed by Noble Systems to place telephone calls.” [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, pp. 3, 6; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5].

         From April 201');">16 to September 201');">16, BCA used the IVR capability of its Noble predictive dialer to greet called persons with an automated prompt, asking them to press one key if the correct person had been called and a different key if the wrong number had been reached. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. When an answering party selected the number indicating a wrong call during an IVR message, the FACS system automatically generated a “B” flag. [ECF Nos. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, pp. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2-3; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p. 1');">11');">1]. And if an answering person received a call from a BCA agent and indicated that the agent has called the wrong number, the agent selected a “WN” code within the Noble system to show that this is a wrong number. [ECF Nos. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. At the end of each business day, the Noble system communicated to the FACS system which numbers received a “WN” code, and the next day, the Noble system would have no phone numbers with a “B” code. [ECF Nos. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6].

         BCA obtained Reyes' cellphone number from one of its clients, Barnabas Health, to collect a debt. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, p. 1');">1; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, pp. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2, 5');">5');">5');">5; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4, 7]. Barnabas gave BCA the patient's biographical information, including the phone number, as part of the patient's medical consent documentation. [ECF Nos. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. But the name Barnabas associated with the cellphone number was not Reyes'. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, p. 2; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5].

         Using the Noble predictive dialer, BCA placed six calls to Reyes' cellphone number. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, pp. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2, 6; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. Reyes did not answer the first five calls, and BCA stopped calling Reyes after the sixth call. [ECF Nos. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. BCA never spoke to Reyes during any of the attempted communications. [ECF Nos. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2; 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4].

         BCA did not intend to call Reyes but was trying to reach someone else to collect a debt. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, p. 1');">1; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. BCA did not manually dial Reyes' number first to confirm the intended caller. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. And it is not BCA's policy and procedure to manually dial a telephone number before autodialing it to make sure that the person on the other end is the intended recipient. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6].

         At least two of BCA's calls to Reyes were accompanied by an IVR. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, 5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. The IVR Reyes received gave a message to the following effect: “If this is Jane Doe, press 1');">1; ‘if this is a wrong number,' press 2.” [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. Reyes pressed two. [ECF Nos. 86-1');">1, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4; 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6].

         That ends the recitation of undisputed facts. Concerning other facts pertinent to class certification, the parties did not see eye-to-eye. There are three major areas of disagreement. The first two areas touch on BCA's call data, and the third concerns the issue of prior, express consent.

         The first major disagreement concerns the coding BCA used in its collections system -- i.e., the “B” flags in FACS and the “WN” codes within Noble -- and what the codes may represent. Beginning with the “B” flag, BCA admits that a “B” flag may be added to a telephone number when “[t]he answering party selected the prompt within an IVR to indicate wrong number.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3]. But BCA also takes the position that a “B” flag may be added for other reasons, listing the following as examples:

• The number is disconnected.
• Multiple, consecutive calls resulted in a temporarily disconnected message.
• Multiple, consecutive calls resulted in a triple tone (3 beeps output by carrier to indicate the call could not be completed).
• Multiple, consecutive calls resulted in no ring.
• Multiple, consecutive calls resulted in a busy signal.
• The answering party requested no more calls.

[ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2');">p. 2].

         Also, BCA claims that, in its experience, “it is not unusual for it to receive an inbound call from a telephone number after a ‘B' flag has been added to that telephone number in FACS.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3]. But BCA says that, even then, it will “not resume telephone calls to the number at issue, unless the party specifically indicates the telephone number is a good number at which the party can be reached.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3]. And “[e]ven in those instances, the agent is not required to remove the ‘B' flag from the number.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3');">p. 3].

         Concerning “WN” codes, BCA similarly claims that “[w]hile BCA trains its agents to use the ‘WN' code when the called party says this is a wrong number, BCA's experience demonstrates that ‘WN' does not necessarily mean BCA has called a wrong number.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. BCA explains that, in its experience, “it is not unusual for a debtor to falsely claim BCA is calling a wrong number (either during a conversation with an agent or by utilizing the IVR system) in order to avoid speaking with a BCA agent regarding the unpaid debt.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. But even so, BCA claims that its “standard operating procedure is to cease telephone calls if the answering party indicates BCA has called a wrong number.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4]. BCA also states that “[i]t is not unusual for BCA to receive an inbound call from the debtor using a telephone number after a ‘WN' result has been added to that telephone number in the Noble telephone system, ” but even in those instances, the company “does not resume telephone calls to the number at issue.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">p. 4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4');">4].

         For her part, Reyes agrees that “when the answering party selected the prompt within an IVR to indicate wrong number, a ‘B' flag was automatically generated in FACS.” [ECF No. 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5]. But Reyes disagrees with “the other alleged uses of the ‘B' flag, ” arguing that BCA “has not identified a single specific instance where a ‘B' flag signified anything other than wrong number for a proposed class member.” [ECF No. 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5]. Reyes also argues that BCA “has not identified a single specific instance where it received an inbound call from a telephone number after a ‘B' flag was added to the telephone number in FACS.” [ECF No. 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, 5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">5');">p. 5');">5');">5');">5].

         Similarly, Reyes agrees “that ‘WN' is a code selected by a BCA agent if a call is answered and the call recipient informs Defendant that it is calling the wrong number.” [ECF No. 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. But Reyes does not accept the argument that “‘WN' does not necessarily mean BCA has called a wrong number, ” contending that, again, BCA “has not identified a single instance where a WN code did not necessarily mean it called a wrong number.” [ECF No. 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. Moreover, Reyes argues that BCA has “not identified a single instance where it received an inbound call from a telephone number that had previously been associated with a WN code.” [ECF No. 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6]. Nor, continues Reyes, has BCA “identified a single instance where a ‘debtor [] falsely claim[ed] BCA is calling a wrong number (either during a conversation with an agent or by utilizing the IVR system) in order to avoid speaking with a BCA agent regarding the unpaid debt.'” [ECF No. 96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96');">96, p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6');">p. 6].

         The second major point of contention concerns the technological limitations within BCA's records-collection software. BCA claims that in its FACS system, “a query can be run to select phone numbers (if the phone number field is populated) with a corresponding ‘B' phone flag.” [ECF No. 93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93');">93, p. 3');">p. 3');"> ...


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