The Tampa Tribune reported yesterday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be forced to pay $270 million in a class-action lawsuit concerning junk faxes sent to businesses in 2009. Cin-Q Automobiles in Gainesville filed a class-action complaint in Tampa, alleging that the Buccaneers violated the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005, using a company called FaxQom.com to send illegal faxes to 180,000 businesses.
At $500 per violation and a potential trebling of damages if the violation is found to be intentional, the damages could treble according to the Tampa Bay Times. That would mean a whopping $270 million to be paid. I'm not sure why the FaxQom.com company isn't being cited more, but then I'm not a lawyer. A quick bit of searching led me to one other lawsuit regarding FaxQom.com also regarding Restrictions on Use of Telephone Equipment.
Initially, I didn't think this was worth writing about. But then Pro Football Talk picked it up and it's become a bigger story, so here we are now.
Hilariously, the suit claims that the faxes caused the businesses
"to lose paper and ink/toner as a result. Defendants' actions prevented Plaintiff's fax machine from being used for Plaintiff's business purposes during the time the Defendants were using Plaintiff's fax machine for Defendants' illegal purpose."
Joking aside, this is serious business and unwanted faxes could now cost the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a lot of money. $270 million seems like a ridiculous amount -- but then, so does 180,000 faxes. We'll see if this goes anywhere down the line. It may squeeze the Bucs' finances down the road. Or it may turn out to lead nowhere.