Class Action: Laborers' Union International Local 40 v. Ameritech Corp dba SBC

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 4, 2004, 6:16am

Attorneys for SBC will argue that Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 40 did not meet prerequisites for its class action complaint against the phone company in a hearing Friday, Oct. 15.

Hoagland, Fitzgerald, Smith, and Pranaitis, of Alton, will ask Judge Nicholas Byron to dismiss the suit claiming the union did not demonstrate that there were not enough class members to support the case. SBC also claims that there are questions of fact or law common to the class, which questions predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.

Lawyers for SBC claim the union does not identify any other customer who was allegedly billed for such “unauthorized” charges, even though the union alleges that there are thousands of persons who were damaged by SBC’s bogus charges.

SBC wants the case dismissed because the union made voluntary payments that are the subject of the complaint, even though information was available to protest the charges. Pursuant to Section 2-619(a) (9) of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure,
they want the charges dismissed with prejudice.

The union, represented by the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River, filed the class action suit April 15 alleging that SBC charged them for “directory advertising” which appeared on its bill as “SBC Smart yellow pages,” which allegedly was not approved or authorized by the union.

The union further claims that SBC gets away with these alleged bogus charges even though they did not consent by bunching the charges with legitimate charges that the Union did agree to pay for.

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