|[April 02, 2014]
Wulfsberg Reese & Colvig Scores Win in Telecom Litigation
SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)--
After nearly six years of litigation, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston
entered final judgment yesterday in favor of Wulfsberg Reese & Colvig's
client, the City of Alameda, against all claims brought by Vectren
Communications Services, a subsidiary of Vectren Corporation (VVC), a $5
billion Indiana-based conglomerate, arising out of Alameda's operation
of its cable TV and Internet system.
Vectren sued Alameda for $10 million claiming that Alameda failed to
maximize profits in which Vectren claimed a right to share by not
aggressively raising rates and not cutting staff and that Alameda's
accounting underreported alleged profits payable to Vectren.
After a month-long 2010 jury trial, Wulfsberg Reese & Colvig secured a
verdict in Alameda's favor on four of Vectren's five caims, with the
jury finding for Vectren on the accounting claim. WRC successfully
appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the
judgment in Vectren's favor, finding that Vectren's theory at trial
differed from the one advanced in Vectren's pre-litigation claim
required by California Government Code section 905 et seq., (the
Government Claims Act). Vectren Communications Services, Inc. v. City
of Alameda, 536 Fed.Appx. 681. The Ninth Circuit remanded the case
for trial on Vectren's damages resulting from Alameda's sale of the
system to Comcast (News - Alert), Vectren's last chance for recovery.
Barring another appeal, yesterday's judgment marks the end of the
Alameda telecom litigation, in which Alameda once faced three separate
lawsuits claiming $25 million. Alameda and WRC won the other two cases,
brought by investors in notes issued to finance the telecom system,
Nuveen Investments and the Bernard Osher Trust, when the District Court
granted Alameda's motion for summary judgment based on: (1) plaintiffs'
failure to comply with the Government Claims Act; (2) statutes
immunizing public entities from fraud liability; and (3) plaintiffs'
failure to establish "loss causation" (that Alameda's alleged
misstatements caused their losses). The Ninth Circuit upheld this
decision in an opinion published late last year, Nuveen Municipal
High Income Opportunity Fund v. City of Alameda, 730 F.3d 1111. WRC
attorneys Gregory Aker, Richard Elder and Michael Higgins (News - Alert) represented
Alameda in all three matters.
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