Federal judge denies Verizon FiOS customer's request to have class action remanded to state court

By Takesha Thomas | Feb 20, 2019

PHILADELPHIA - A district court has denied a Verizon FiOS customer's request to have a lawsuit filed against the company sent back to state court. 

On Feb. 11, U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg denied Christopher Kelly's request for a motion to remand a suit based on the Class Action Fairness Act filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Verizon Pennsylvania LLC back to state court. 

Kelly alleges that Verizon misrepresented to Verizon FiOS Quantum television customers that they were required to lease multiple settop boxes in order to access FiOS on multiple televisions in a household. 

Goldberg also denied as moot a request from Verizon to preclude the introduction of testimony by certain witnesses. 

Kelly had filed a suit against the company's cable and internet providing division, FiOS, in September 2016. That matter, however, was dismissed in October 2016 based on the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. He then filed a motion to remand in August. Goldberg heard arguments in December.

According to the suit, Verizon requires its FiOS customers to lease a set-top box for each television to be connected to Verizon’s broadband network. Customers are assessed recurring fees for the use of these devices. 

"The set-top boxes provide an input connection for a FiOS cable line and an output connection to a customer’s television," the lawsuit stated. "Verizon requires customers to use a separate box for each and every television connected to the FiOS network."

Kelly contends that Verizon misrepresented itself to its Quantum customers when it required multiple set-top boxes must be leased in order to access FiOS on multiple television. Instead, Quantum customers can simply use the FiOS Mobile App or the internet to view FiOS content "without the use of a device directly connected to a set-top box." 

Kelly argued that as a result, Verizon deceives and confuses its Quantum customers by not informing them of the set-top alternatives. 

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