Monday, October 6, 2008

Courts Hand Different Rulings on Carriers Billing Litigation

Here's an update to the complaints that have been filed against a few mobile phone carriers. According to a article, various federal courts made different decisions on the billing litigation against Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. The article also indicated that the number of antitrust class-action texting lawsuits filed against major US carriers have increased steadily. All of these factors indicate that the mobile phone industry will continue to face challenges from frustrated customers and plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Let's look at the various federal courts decisions on the billing litigation. Verizon Wireless scored well when a U.S. District judge ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts New Jersey law. This means that Verizon's motion on the enforceable arbitration clause was granted. However, the story doesn't end there.

Verizon Wireless did not scroe well with other courts including the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. These courts ruled in favor of consumers by deciding that class-action complaints cannot be necessarily foreclosed by individual arbitration clauses.

AT&T also faced some rough waters in the decisions made on the litigations and suits that they are facing. For instance, a federal court in San Diego did not rule in favor of the top US mobile phone carrier. The case filed against AT&T and other carriers including T-Mobile for charging customers for unauthorized mobile content on their monthly bills was not dismissed. The judge in charge of this case has temporarily ordered that AT&T cannot settle the class action case in Georgia.

However, AT&T Mobility has not yet raised the flag of surrender even though, the judge ruled in favor of the consumers. The company is currently reviewing and considering their next course of action.

Well, it seems that the battle is till raging. Class action suits are still being filed against carriers despite the waivers on the wireless contracts they require from their customers. We just have to wait and see who gains the upper hand on this one. Weill it be the consumers or will the carriers win at the end of the day. Tune in to this blog to find out.

No comments: