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Virgin Mobile takes Indiana to court

By Robbie Hargett | Aug 13, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Virgin Mobile is suing the state of Indiana after the state amended a law that Virgin Mobile says will charge additional fees to a program that assists low-income telephone customers.

Virgin Mobile USA filed a complaint July 15 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against the state of Indiana and Indiana Statewide 911 Board, after the state adopted a law the plaintiff alleges would impose retroactive and prospective surcharges on Lifeline telephone service providers.

According to the complaint, the FCC-created Lifeline program ensures that all Americans be able to benefit from reliable phone services including emergency services. It also assists low-income customers in paying their monthly telephone charges, the suit says.

The plaintiffs allege the amended law makes Virgin Mobile's Lifeline service economically unstable and therefore harms both Virgin Mobile and its low-income customers.

Virgin Mobile USA seeks a declaration stating the defendants are in violation of federal law as well as an order requiring the state to account for all sums currently held by Indiana's 911 emergency telephone system.

The company is represented by attorneys Richard E. Aikman and Anne E. Becker of Lewis Kappes in Indianapolis, and by Henry T. Kelly and Catherine E. James of Kelley Drye & Warren in Chicago (pending pro hac vice).

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana case number 1:15-cv-01105-SEB-DKL.

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