Federal judge awards $32.4 million to recipients of Huckabee-voiced robocalls | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 8, 2017

Federal judge awards $32.4 million to recipients of Huckabee-voiced robocalls

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge A still from the "Last Ounce of Courage" promotional trailer. - YOUTUBE
  • YOUTUBE
  • A still from the "Last Ounce of Courage" promotional trailer.

In St. Louis on Thursday, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber awarded $32.4 million in damages to 3.2 million people who received robocalls in 2012 voiced by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The calls, which promoted a Christian movie called "Last Ounce of Courage," were unsolicited advertisements that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the judge ruled in August.

Huckabee was initially named in the class-action lawsuit but was later dropped as a defendant.

That left as defendants Gabriel Joseph III, a marketing entrepreneur with affiliated companies named AIC Communications and Freeeats.com Inc., and James R. Leninger, a Texas billionaire who funded the marketing of "Last Ounce of Courage."

Although a jury found in August that Leninger should not be held liable for the calls, Judge Webber ruled at that trial that Joseph and his companies had clearly violated the TCPA. Thursday's order only concerned the damages. The Post-Dispatch notes that Webber could have awarded up to $500 per call under the TCPA but said that a $1.6 billion award would have been "wholly disproportionate to the offense and obviously unreasonable." He instead opted for a penalty of $10 per call, or around $32 million.

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