December 5, 2008

$21 Million Mid-Trial Settlement In Verizon Termination Fee Case

The Problem

The 1-year and 2-year contracts for Verizon’s mobile phone services had an early termination fee of $175 per line.

What We Did

We filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 1.4 million Verizon customers, alleging this fee violated California law because it had no relationship to any actual loss caused by the termination of the contract.  The judge appointed us class counsel, and we prosecuted this case for 5 years, up through a jury trial.

After we presented plaintiffs’ case-in-chief, rested, then cross-examined Verizon’s principal trial witness, Verizon agreed to settle the case for a $21 million cash payment and agreed to an injunction restricting Verizon’s ability to impose early termination fees in future subscriber agreements.

What Our Clients Got

The court awarded $10,000 apiece to our clients, Molly White, Harold P. Schroer, Christin Nguyen and Patricia Brown.  The class members they represented were sent refunds of $67.49 for each termination fee they paid. The largest refund check issued to a class member was for $1,147.34