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Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP v. Verizon Communs. Inc. - 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71101 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 27, 2006)

Rule:

Summary judgment is appropriate only if the evidence shows that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. 

Facts:

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 imposes upon an incumbent local exchange carrier (LEC) the obligation to share its telephone network with competitors, including the duty to provide access to individual network elements on an "unbundled" basis. New entrants, so-called competitive LECs, combine and resell these unbundled network elements (UNEs). Verizon Communications Inc. (Verizon), the incumbent LEC in New York State, signed interconnection agreements with rivals such as AT&T.

After the United States Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of Plaintiff's prior class action case against Verizon alleging alleging antitrust violations under § 2 of the Sherman Act. Plaintiff, Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, (Trinko) as a new customer of AT&T, filed this action, alleging received Trinko was receiving inferior phone service because Verizon was not affording AT&T equal access to the "local loop" of Verizon-controlled telephone wires. Trinko's theory is that by discriminating against customers of AT&T, Verizon violated the Federal Communications Act and tortiously interfered with those customers' contracts with AT&T.

Issue:

Was there evidence to support the allegation that Verizon provided AT&T inferior access that, in turn, caused Trinko harm?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

The facts show that the only evidence supporting Trinko's claim that it was harmed by Verizon's failure to give AT&T equal access to the "local loop" comes from the deposition testimony of Curtis Trinko and an incomplete order for service that was not countersigned by AT&T and does not bear any indication that it was ever received by AT&T as signed by one side. Because Trinko has provided no credible evidence that it was harmed by any discriminatory actions by Verizon or that Verizon tortiously interfered with its contract with AT&T, and because Trinko has not identified any unproduced discovery that could rescue its claims, defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.

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