EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack is set to give the final go-ahead to a $21 million settlement in a long running class action suit brought by small business owners against AT&T.
Stack issued preliminary approval on March 23.
The "Big Sky' case began in 2003, with allegations that AT&T had given improper refunds to some companies that the phone service provider had previously overcharged.
The final settlement approval is set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday.
AT&T was mandated by the Illinois state legislature to refund $90 million in overcharges to its business customers with multiple lines in 2001.
Big Sky claimed that some refunds were improper and filed suit two years later.
Then-Madison County Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis, who presided over the case at the time, declared the refunds were unconstitutional.
The case eventually went to the Illinois State Supreme Court. The high court reversed Kardis, sending the case back to Madison County.
The Madison County Court found for the plaintiffs in February 2009 on a summary judgment move. The court found that AT&T had given refunds to customers who weren't entitled to them.
In November 2009, Stack found the plaintiff class was entitled to about $21 per phone.
The class attorneys, Timothy Londrigan, Terrence O'Leary, Glenn Bradford and Mary Lee Leahy, will take home $7 million in fees, assuming Stack grants the final approval Monday.
Big Sky and Theis Law Firm, will each receive $10,000 as class representatives.
AT&T continues to deny the suit's claims.
The company has agreed to pay the costs of administering the settlement.
Londrigan is with Londrigan, Potter & Randle P.C. of Springfield.
Leahy is with Leahy Law Firm of Springfield.
O'Leary is with Bosslet & O'Leary, Ltd. in Granite City.
Bradford is with Barberis and Bradford in Edwardsville.
Theodore Livingston of Chicago, Elaine Rappaport Lev of Chicago and John Papa of Granite City represented the defendants.
Livingston is with the firm of Mayer Brown LLP.
Papa is part of Callis, Papa, Hale, Szewczyk & Danzinger P.C.
Rappaport Lev is with AT&T Services Inc.