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What is vicarious liability?

Vicarious liability is defined as an attachment of responsibility to a party for harm or damages caused by another party in a lawsuit or civil action.

It is a common practice for many businesses to market their products through the use of independent sales forces and lead aggregator websites. While these can be great sources for obtaining fresh leads, they can also be a trap for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation. 

If your third-party agents violate the TCPA, you can be found vicariously liable for any resulting damages. Examples of possible violations include the third-party agents calling consumers without the proper consent, making calls or texts on your behalf using an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) or prerecorded voice, and not honoring opt-out requests. 

When you don’t fully control the strategies that lead generators use to conduct their campaigns, the risk of vicarious liability can be enormous. TCPA violations incurred by independent agents and lead generators acting on behalf of a company will draw that company into any related lawsuits.