Arwa Chiropractic, P.C. v. Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies, Inc., No. 19-1916 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
A medical supply company sent faxes to thousands of medical providers to solicit prescriptions to sell medical equipment to the providers’ patients. One provider received numerous faxes and filed a class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. 227. The supply company failed to appear. A default judgment entered against the company as to liability but not damages. Later the supplier’s CEO was granted summary judgment. Concerned with inconsistency, the district court vacated the default judgment against the company and entered judgment for both the executive and the company.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed as to the executive. Because the good cause standard was not applied in vacating the default judgment against the company, and inconsistent judgments between the individual and corporate defendants do not present a problem, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings on the claim against the company. Judgments against these two defendants would not necessarily be inconsistent and the district court mistakenly believed that the plaintiff sought to “essentially” hold the CEO vicariously liable as an officer of the supplier, which would require uniformity in judgments. The plaintiff alleged joint and several liability, which is critically different from vicarious liability.