Two individuals sued telemedicine giant Teladoc Health on Wednesday for repeated robocalls selling health insurance and memberships to its services.
Plaintiffs April Hale and Len Cline accused Teladoc of hiring Health Insurance Innovations to make telemarketing calls on the company's behalf. The calls allegedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which requires telemarketers to get consent from consumers before contacting them with automatic dialing systems or pre-recorded voice messages, according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs, who filed their complaint in a New York federal court are seeking class action status.
A Teladoc spokesperson said the company can't comment on pending or active litigation.
HII, a brokerage that sells short-term health plans, did not respond to a request for comment at deadline.
The plaintiffs said HII did not obtain written consent from them prior to placing telemarketing calls and continued to call after they had opted out from future communications.
HII called the plaintiffs to sell "a basket of health insurance products, one of those products in that basket was a $29.99 membership to Teladoc," according to the complaint.
Hale said she received at least 25 autodialed or pre-recorded calls to her cell phones, despite not providing consent for Teladoc to place such calls, repeatedly opting out from receiving additional calls from HII and registering her phone number on the national Do-Not-Call registry. Cline said he received eight pre-recorded calls, despite taking similar precautions.
The lawuit alleged Teladoc should have known HII was making calls on the company's behalf that allegedly violated the TCPA, citing previous lawsuits against HII and a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau. Teladoc should have maintained oversight of HII and its affiliates to ensure they adhered to the TCPA, according to the complaint.
"Teladoc cannot turn a blind eye to the unsolicited calls being made on their behalf and for their financial gain by partnering with HII to make calls to consumers without consent on their behalf," the complaint reads.
The plaintiffs are seeking an order that Teladoc give up profit made through its allegedly unlawful telemarketing activities with HII and to cease engaging in such unsolicited calls.
Hale and Cline want to represent seven classes of plaintiffs, including people who HII called using a pre-recorded message without prior consent and individuals who HII called multiple times and were on the national Do-Not-Call registry. For most of the classes, the complaint argues members are entitled to between $500 and $1,500 in damages for each violation.
Teladoc has seen significant financial gains in recent months, as telemedicine use soared in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The company in April reported $180.8 million in revenue for 2020's first quarter, up 41% year-over-year and beating its own revenue guidance by multiple millions of dollars. Teladoc's quarterly visits reached 2 million that quarter, a first-ever for the company and up 92% year-over-year.