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Whodunit: Humana Out of TCPA Case After Denying Relationship With Lead Seller–But That Begs The Question
Monday, April 15, 2024

So more news out of the lead generation world following #Leadscon2024. And this one has a bit of a mystery element, if you’re into that sort of thing.

In Woodward v. Humana, 2024 WL 1363713 (N.D. Ill March 29, 2024) repeat litigator Antionette Woodward (isn’t Woodard though Westlaw?) sued Humana claiming it was responsible for calls made by lead generator Healthubb, LLC.

The allegations (clues) seemed to support the claim:

  • Plaintiff alleges that she received three unsolicited telephone calls on her residential line between October 30 and 31, 2022 from an entity identified on her phone’s caller ID as Healthubb;
  • According to Plaintiff, the callers promoted Humana insurance and, during one of the calls, transferred her to someone named Martin Edwards;
  • Plaintiff further alleges that Mr. Edwards provided her with a Humana callback number and that Mr. Edwards is a Humana employee.

That all seems compelling. But Humana countered as follows:

  • Humana alleges that it does not have and has never had a marketing relationship with Healthubb.
  • Humana further alleges that they have never paid any money to Healthubb for customer leads or call transfers and that Healthubb is not authorized to promote or otherwise sell Humana products.
  • Humana alleges that when Healthubb supposedly called Plaintiff, it did not do so at Humana’s behest. Humana states that because they have no marketing relationship with Healthubb.

Well that’s weird.

If Humana has no relationship with Healthubb why did it transfer calls to Humana?

The world may never know.

The Court in Woodard through the case out of court finding it could not exercise jurisdiction over Humana in light of the declaration denying any connection with the calls at issue. Woodard asked the court to conduct discovery so she could counter the claim but the Court denied it finding Plaintiff had failed to state even a prima facie showing of wrongdoing by Humana.

Hmm.

On the other hand, the Court did allow Plaintiff to amend the complaint–so the case may not be over just yet.

Interesting little one here. Not sure how Plaintiff can amend around the declaration from Humana–and without discovery how can one counter the claims that Humana had nothing to do with the calls?

On the other hand, why was Healthubb sending transfers to Humana if no relationship existed between them? Presumably there’s a company “in between” but without discovery how does one find them?

The lead gen world produces many odd scenarios like this. We’ll keep an eye on it.

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