Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Press ReleaseUncategorized

DOTAuthority.com files Counterclaim against FTC

Mar
22,
2017
0

DOTAUTHORITY.COM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andrew Gordon, Esq. (847) 580-1279 media@dotauthority.com
DOTAuthority.com and Affiliates Move to File Counterclaim Against the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) for Defamation and Tortious Interference

FTC building
March 21, 2017 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Corporate Plaintiffs DOTAuthority.com, Inc., DOTfilings.com, Inc., Excelsior Enterprises International, Inc., and JPL Enterprises International, Inc. and Individual Plaintiffs James P. Lamb, and Uliana Bogash (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”) announced today that they have moved the court for leave to file a counterclaim against the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) alleging defamation and tortious interference (CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: 0:16-cv-62186-WJZ) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

According to court documents filed on Monday, March 20, 2017, the Plaintiffs have moved to file an action for declaratory and injunctive relief against the FTC to correct press releases, blog posts, scam alert listings, and public comments by the FTC and/or its designated representatives, that are alleged to have severally injured the reputation and revenue of the Individual and Corporate Plaintiffs. The Counterclaim also asserts a cause of action for the FTC’s tortious interference with Corporate Plaintiffs’ business relationships.

This suit arises from the FTC’s original September 2016 allegations that DOTAuthority.com and its affiliates were engaging in deceptive online advertising practices in violation of Section 5(a), of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 45(a) and Section 4 of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”), 15 U.S.C. § 8403. DOTAuthority.com is a fifteen year old motor carrier registration business that helps interstate commercial carriers remain compliant with the slew of complex and rapidly-changing State and Federal regulations. Despite pre-existing disclaimers on DOTAuthority.com’s marketing materials, websites, and shopping carts that stated the company is a third party and “not the Department of Transportation,” the FTC has alleged that DOTAuthority.com engaged in deceptive businesses practices by misleading consumers into believing DOTAuthority.com was affiliated with a governmental entity.

On September 15, 2016, the FTC obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order without DOTAuthority.com’s knowledge, freezing the personal and business assets of DOTAuthority.com and its owner James Lamb, and imposing a court-appointed receiver to wrest control of the business away from Lamb during the pendency of the proceedings. DOTAuthority.com and Lamb were thus placed in the position of having to defend themselves without access to any funds for legal fees or business records – records and funds that were necessary to mount a legal defense at the subsequent hearing.

Two weeks later, on September 29, 2016, the Federal court took witness testimony from Lamb and heard arguments from DOTAuthority.com’s counsel, all of which highlighted the facts that: (i) the FTC’s ex parte request for an asset freeze and receivership was improvident; (ii) the FTC acted inappropriately by implying that exigent circumstances existed when, in fact, no emergency ever existed; and (iii) DOTAuthority.com was an established, bona fide business that was both legitimate and helpful to hundreds of thousands of customers nationwide who relied on DOTAuthority.com for their interstate common carrier registrations and annual permits.

DOTAuthority.com prevailed at the hearing, and the asset freeze and receivership were immediately lifted by the Federal Judge. A greatly modified preliminary injunction still issued; however, the restrictions of the injunction were entirely acceptable to DOTAuthority.com and, in fact, were previously offered to the FTC by DOTAuthority.com prior to the evidentiary hearing.

In specific, DOTAuthority.com’s March 20, 2017 Counterclaim against the FTC alleges that the FTC engaged in a “twisted campaign to damage the [Plaintiffs’] business and personal reputations . . . .” See Counterclaim at 3. The Counterclaim further asserts that several of the FTC publications at issue falsely characterized Plaintiffs as “scammers” and “crooks,” and inappropriately opine on Plaintiffs’ culpability in the absence of a final judgment.

According to one of the members of DOTAuthority.com’s legal team, Attorney Andrew Gordon:

“The FTC’s publications at issue in the Counterclaim collectively mischaracterize the substance of the September 29, 2016 Preliminary Injunction Order, causing proximate and irreparable injury to the Defendants’ reputations and revenues.”

The FTC is represented by attorneys Karen S. Hobbs, Danielle Estrada, Connell McNulty and Collot Guerard.

© 2017, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Share

Previous

Next

By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

Tagged: , , ,

What do you have to say about this? - Be the first!

To the top