PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The 3rd Circuit dismissed a class action accusing Rodale Inc. of mailing books that customers never ordered and demanding payment.
The 2-1 ruling hinged on whether the Postal Reorganization Act implies a private right of action. The circuit ruled that it does not.
Customers can send Rodale an order card to enroll in a “negative option” plan, whereby Rodale ships them books and bills any recipients who do not return the books within a certain time period.
Lead plaintiff David Wisniewski claimed he paid for an unsolicited book to avoid damage to his credit rating.
Rodale argued that Wisniewski consented by sending in the negative option plan. He responded by saying the cards do not meet objective disclosure standards and are “inadequate as a source of consent.
Judges Smith and Weiss found that “the language and structure of the statute provide no support for a private right of action.” Judge Sloviter dissented. See ruling.