The Broncos could end up being the team with only the second worst offseason fax-machine faux pas.
According to Peter Jamison of the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers have been sued in federal court for violating the statute prohibiting junk faxes.
Yes, there’s a Junk Fax Protection Act of 2005, which imposes a $500 fine for every fax that is sent to someone who didn’t want it. The lawsuit, a class action with Cin-Q Automobiles of Gainesville as the named plaintiff, claims that 180,000 different people received junk faxes. The fine, which can indeed be enforced by a private lawsuit, is $500 per violation.
That’s $90 million in potential liability, unless the Buccaneers can prove an “established business relationship” with any, some, or all of the recipients. This would cut the total exposure down at $500 per recipient, but it requires among other things a clear and effective “opt out” procedure, and clear and conspicuous notification on the first page of the fax for blocking future messages.
If it’s deemed that the Buccaneers willfully and knowingly violated the Junk Fax Protection Act, the damages can be tripled (or trebled, for the folks who prefer it fancy). That’s total potential liability of $270 million.Though the suit was filed this week, the alleged violations occurred in 2009, when attendance at Raymond James Stadium first began to seriously dip.While this one has a long way to go, the worst-case scenario is bad enough to make more than a few people lose sleep at One Buc Place.