Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Technical Products, Inc. v. Bellsouth Telecommunications, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

July 12, 2018

TECHNICAL PRODUCTS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
BELLSOUTH TELECOMMUNICATIONS, LLC, d/b/a AT&T GEORGIA, Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD W. STORY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration [8]. After reviewing the record, the Court enters the following Order.

         Background

         This case arises out of a business relationship between Plaintiff Technical Products, Inc. and Defendant BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC. Defendant provides both telephone and internet services to Plaintiff. As alleged in the Complaint, in an attempt to upgrade Plaintiff's service, Defendant caused a phone, fax, and internet outage for twelve days beginning September 12, 2016. (Compl., Dkt. [1-1] ¶ 17.) The service outage continued intermittently through December 2016. (Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff seeks to recover damages incurred due to the service outage.

         Plaintiff has entered into several contracts with Defendant throughout their relationship. First, in 2007 Plaintiff signed a Complete Choice for Business contract for discounted telephone services. (Decl. of Paige Harris, Dkt. [8-4] ¶ 6.) In 2013, Plaintiff ordered a new telephone-service product package called “All for Less.” (Decl. of Barbara Jablonski, Dkt. [8-3], ¶ 6-7.) An order confirmation email, which included a link to the “AT&T Business Service Agreement, ” was sent to Plaintiff. (Id.) Defendant sent a notice in September 2015 of changes to the Business Services Agreement, which went into effect November 10, 2015. (Id. ¶ 9.) Finally, in 2013 Plaintiff completed an internet-service registration process when it ordered internet service from Defendant. (Decl. of Chris Cooper, Dkt. [8-2] ¶ 6.) In registering, Plaintiff checked a box stating “I have read and agree to the AT&T Terms of Service.” (Id. ¶ 9(c).)

         Each of these contracts contained arbitration provisions, which Defendant seeks to enforce here. As to the agreements for telephone services, Plaintiff argues that it did not assent to the arbitration provisions. As to the agreement for internet services, Plaintiff does not dispute the validity of the arbitration provision, instead arguing that it applies only to disputes relating to the internet services provided.

         As an initial matter, Defendant's Motion to Permit Redaction of Exhibits in Support of Motion to Compel Arbitration [9], Defendant's Motion to Permit Redaction of Exhibit in Support of Reply in Support of Motion to Compel Arbitration [14], and Plaintiff's Consent Motion for Extension of Time [16] are GRANTED.

         Analysis

         Defendant moves to enforce the arbitration provisions of their contracts with Plaintiff pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. § 1, et seq., which “embodies a ‘liberal federal policy favoring arbitration agreements.'” Hill v. Rent-A-Center, Inc., 398 F.3d 1286, 1288 (11th Cir. 2005) (quoting Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24 (1983)). It's goal is to move “the parties to an arbitrable dispute out of court and into arbitration as quickly as possible.” Moses, 460 U.S. at 22. The FAA establishes that “as a matter of federal law, any doubts concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration, whether the problem at hand is the construction of the contract language itself or an allegation of waiver, delay, or a like defense to arbitrability.” Id. at 24-25.

         Plaintiff agrees that it is subject to a binding arbitration provision for its claims relating to Defendant's failure to provide internet services. (Br. in Opp'n to Mot. to Compel Arbitration, Dkt. [10], at 13.) Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration [8] is therefore GRANTED insofar as it relates to Plaintiff's claims regarding internet services.

         The parties dispute, however, whether Plaintiff's claims regarding telephone services are also subject to an arbitration provision. Defendant offers two arguments in favor of arbitration. First, it argues that the arbitration provision in the agreement for internet services applies to all of Plaintiff's claims, not just those arising out of that specific contract. While Plaintiff does not dispute that it is bound by this arbitration provision, it does argue that it does not extend to claims arising out of other agreements between the parties. Second, Defendant argues that the agreements for telephone services also incorporate arbitration provisions. Since the Court finds that the arbitration provision in the agreement for internet services applies broadly to the entirety of Plaintiff's claims, it will only address the first of Defendant's theories.

         “To determine what disputes the parties agreed to arbitrate, we begin, as we must, with the language of the applicable arbitration provision, keeping in mind ‘that any doubts concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration[.]'” World Rentals & Sales, LLC v. Volvo Const. Equip. Rents, Inc., 517 F.3d 1240, 1245 (11th Cir. 2008) (quoting Klay v. All Defendants, 389 F.3d 1191, 1201 (11th Cir. 2004)). The arbitration provision in the agreement for internet services states:

AT&T and you agree to arbitrate all disputes and claims between you and AT&T. This arbitration agreement does not include claims against Yahoo, or claims against AT&T or Yahoo that are based in whole or in part on the Site. This agreement to arbitrate is intended to be broadly interpreted. It includes, but is not limited to:
• claims arising out of or relating to any aspect of the relationship between us, whether based in contract, tort, statute, fraud, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.