County Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Wireless Carriers
(Santa Ana, CA) — Orange County has joined with 10 other California counties and dozens of other government entities across the state in a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower against Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile alleging they collectively overcharged government customers by more than $100 million.
The suit, brought in Sacramento County Superior Court under the California False Claims Act, alleges that the wireless carriers ignored cost-saving requirements included in master contracts under which their services were purchased by various government entities. The Orange County Board of Supervisors authorized joining the lawsuit on September 22, 2015. However, the lawsuit was filed under seal until this week.
The action was brought by OnTheGo Wireless, a pioneer in the field of rate-plan optimization, which analyses usage patterns to determine the least expensive service or rate plan for each user. The company alleges that the master contracts required the carriers to determine and report to the government customers which rate plan selections would result in the lowest cost
through rate-plan optimization, and to charge them according to the lowest available cost.
Other California government entities that have joined the lawsuit include 16 cities, eight school districts, six special districts and the University of California Regents. The case is State of California et al. ex rel. OnTheGo Wireless, LLC v. Cellco Partnership et al., Case No. 34-2012-00127517. It was unsealed on December 8, 2015.
OnTheGo Wireless, as well as the government interveners, are represented by Constantine Cannon LLP, with offices in New York, Washington DC, London and San Francisco. For more information on the lawsuit, contact Wayne Lamprey or Anne Hayes Hartman with Constantine Cannon at (415) 766-3507.