Sixth Circuit affirms $5 million judgment in favor of GS client

The litigation team of Jon Goldberg, Jan West, and Jennifer Luhrs scored a major win for its client and Kentucky’s taxpayers when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today affirmed a lower court’s $5 million-plus judgment. The GS team represented the Commerical Mobile Radio Service Emergency Telecommunications Board (“CMRS Board”), an agency of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that is charged with developing the emergency 911 system for customers in Kentucky. The case is Commonwealth of Kentucky v. TracFone Wireless, Inc.

The U.S. District Court in Louisville had found that TracFone improperly withheld payment of 911 service fees to the CMRS Board, which were required under state law and used to support the statewide emergency 911 system. It then awarded over $5 million in back fees, post-judgment interest, and attorney’s fees to the CMRS Board. TracFone appealed, and argued that the Kentucky E911 statutes under which the service fees were levied did not apply to its prepaid wireless business. The Sixth Circuit disagreed with TracFone, and affirmed the judgment in favor of the CMRS Board.