A federal court judge in Illinois has quashed a suit by former Chicagoland
consumers who alleged that their then-cable operator, AT&T Broadband,
violated federal debt-collection laws by using the wrong corporate
identification when it tried to collect past-due bills.
Judge Ann St. Eve of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois issued a summary judgment in the case on behalf of the operators.
The intended targets of the attempted class action were AT&T Broadband
LLC and Communications and Cable of Chicago Inc., the local business units of
the former AT&T Broadband, which has since been acquired by Comcast
A summary judgment means that the court found no genuine issue of material
fact to the case brought by the plaintiffs.
But the dispute is not over -- the plaintiffs will challenge the lower-court
ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, vowed attorney
Lance Raphael of the Consumer Advocacy Center in Chicago. The federal case is
only an offshoot of the main challenge by consumers, which is pending in state
court, he added.
That suit also seeks class-action status for former AT&T Broadband
customers in the state.