CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston law firm has filed a putative class action against Suddenlink and three other smaller companies within Suddenlink.
The lawsuit, Edens v. Cebridge Acquisition, LLC, et al., seeks to improve phone, video, and internet services in West Virginia, according to a release from Webb Law Center, PLLC, and puts Cebridge Acquisition, LLC, Cequel III Communications I, LLC, and Cequel III Communications II, LLC and Altice USA as well as Suddenlink under fire.
The Public Service Communication of West Virginia fined Suddenlink $2.2 million on Feb. 9, because it “failed to provide safe, adequate and reliable service to its West Virginia subscriber.”
The lawsuit expands on the Commission’s investigation, alleging that in addition to the issues identified in the Commission’s Order, Suddenlink uses out-of-date equipment, fails to perform customary maintenance, and lacks basic backup equipment designed to minimize outages.
The lawsuit reveals that Altice purposefully changed “Suddenlink’s focus on service, innovation and investments” to a focus on aggressive cost-cutting and profits. The lawsuit alleges that, even as Altice’s CEO bragged that Suddenlink’s 47.3% profit margins were the highest in the U.S. cable industry, he vowed that “We’re turning the screws a little more” on cost-cutting.
Among other things, the lawsuit wants to prohibit Suddenlink’s delivery of services under unsafe conditions, which would force Suddenlink to make needed improvements.
The lawsuit further alleges that Suddenlink imposed an unconscionable adhesion contract on Suddenlink customers that is unenforceable under West Virginia law. In addition, the lawsuit seeks damages for Negligence, Gross Negligence, Reckless and Willful Conduct, Unjust Enrichment/Quasi Contract, the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, and Breach of Contract (in the alternative).
The lawsuit was filed by agent Charles R. “Rusty” Webb of the Webb Law Centre, PLLC in Charleston.