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Illinois Judge to AT&T: You Owe Business Customers $21M

An Illinois county judge has ordered AT&T Inc. (T) to pay more than $21 million for mistakes made by Illinois Bell eight years ago.

The Madison Record reported on Friday that AT&T has been held liable for misinterpreting state law when Illinois Bell paid $90 million in refunds to business customers. More than 680,000 of those users deserved refunds but never received them. Participants in the class-¬action case will get $21.20 per line, Judge Daniel Stack decided earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the lawyers spearheading the suit will take home more than $7 million. The Madison Record quoted Stack as saying the attorneys spent more than 3,000 hours on the case – that would mean they reaped about $2,4000 per hour.

Stack warned AT&T not to communicate with people involved in the case without his consent. He also found that Illinois Bell did not intentionally violate state law.

The case had been in the legal system since 2003.

Shares of AT&T were trading lower on Friday afternoon, down .37 percent to $26.01 at 2:39 p.m. Eastern.


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