Two Classes Certified in Class Action Against GTE/Verizon

Foley & Bezek, a Santa Barbara law firm with a practice specializing in class actions, along with the firm of Arias, Ozzello & Gignac, won a victory for consumers by certifying two classes in a class action against GTE/Verizon. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle certified the Wrong PIC Code Class and Billing Date Error Class on May 29, 2002 after 3 days of hearings. Judge Anderle found that the Plaintiffs’ claims against GTE/Verizon for wrongful billing resulting in overcharges for consumers should proceed as a class action and appointed Foley & Bezek as one of the class counsel.

The Plaintiffs filed suit in August of 2000, alleging that flaws in GTE/Verizon’s billing system resulted in consumers getting billed for long distance calls by a carrier other than the carrier which they had chosen. This resulted in substantial overcharges to the consumers. Plaintiffs also determined that a consumer who changed his/her long distance carrier from AT&T to some other carrier any time during the billing cycle would also get charged higher rates. Plaintiffs’ complaint seeks damages for negligence, fraud, conversion, unfair business practices and violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act on behalf of consumers in both classes.