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Aurora man becomes second to sue Trump campaign over texts

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at Old National Events Plaza, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Evansville, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

An Aurora man who RSVPed to attend presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversially canceled Chicago rally has become the second area man to file a federal lawsuit against the Trump campaign for sending an unsolicited text message to his cellphone.

David Roberts contends he received a text message on March 11 that read “Reply YES to subscribe to Donald J. Trump for President. Your subscription will help Make America Great Again! Msg & data rates may apply.”

Roberts filed the federal suit — which is seeking class-action status – arguing the text caused “actual harm” to consumers who pay for incoming texts. He also contends the texts use up the phone’s battery life, waste data storage capacity and are an intrusion of privacy.

A Cook County man on Monday became the first to file a federal suit about the Trump text. Joshua Thorne says he received the same text from Trump’s campaign on March 4 in the days leading up to Illinois’ primary election.

Roberts’ suit contends the Trump campaign received Roberts’ number after he RSVPed via Event Brite for the Trump campaign at the UIC Pavilion. Roberts says he submitted his phone number to obtain a ticket but didn’t give anyone permission to send a text message. He claims Event Brite then gave his information to Tatango Inc., which used the number to send him a text. Tatango makes bulk-messaging software.

That rally, scheduled for March 11, never happened because of security concerns after protesters and Trump supporters clashed inside the pavilion.

Roberts claims the Trump Committee violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and that Tatango actually offers a free guide on compliance with the act.

The suit, which is seeking class-action status, is seeking $500 in statutory damages for each person who received the message who joins his suit; a finding that the Trump campaign violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act; an order that the Trump Committee to stop sending text messages without prior consent; as well as attorney fees and costs of the suit.

A Trump campaign spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday afternoon.