SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 3, 2012

After hangups, suit over $1 million phone bill settled

(Continued)

So the battle continued. Mandriota filed a response to AT&T’s motion to dismiss in which she noted that while AT&T was relying on a provision in federal regulations that allowed it to bill for calls even when they’re unauthorized, the company failed to follow a requirement that the bill be sent to the customer’s own service provider, in this case, Verizon.

Instead, AT&T began billing Smith directly for most of the calls. Nor could AT&T prove that it ever notified Todd Tool immediately after it discovered the calls being made, as the telecom claimed in its suit, Mandriota charged in the court filing. Meanwhile, AT&T was seeking to delay a deposition until a judge issued a “protective order” barring the disclosure of what it considered proprietary information about how it handles allegedly fraudulent calls, according to court papers.

But in late August, the two sides sat down with a court-appointed mediator and began working out an agreement to end the case.

After several delays, that agreement was filed on Oct. 25. Kate MacKinnon, a spokeswoman for AT&T, said the company has no comment.

Efforts to reach Smith or his attorney by phone and email on Friday were unsuccessful.

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Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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