PrimeStar Late-Fee Suit Dismissed

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Another potential late-fee class-action has been struck down, this time in
Alabama.

The Oct. 18 action of Colbert County Circuit Court Judge Jacqueline Hatcher
put an end to the challenge of the business practices of the former PrimeStar
Partners L.P. PrimeStar was later sold to Phoenixstar Inc.

In 1998, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of consumers who claimed that the
direct-broadcast satellite company had no legal basis for its $5 late fee.
Charging the fee amounted to a breach of contract, the suit added.

But Jaime Bianchi of the Bienstock Law Firm, representing PrimeStar,
successfully argued that consumers had already voluntarily paid the late fee.
This legal doctrine has helped operators in other jurisdictions to fight similar
lawsuits.

Hatcher said there was no merit to the lawsuit.

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