Century Link seeks refund of millions it claims was overcharged for long distance

By Sam Knef | Jan 1, 2019

KANSAS CITY — Century Link Communications and others are suing Kansas Fiber Network and Missouri Network Alliance claiming they overcharged millions of dollars for transiting long-distance telephone calls carried by Century Link to or from the defendants’ phone networks.

The eight-count suit filed Dec. 21 at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, states that the defendants were required by state and federal law to lower interstate and intrastate rates to comply with rate caps determined by the Federal Communications Commission, as well as the Kansas Corporation Commission and Missouri Public Service Commission.

"Defendants failed to do so," the suit states. "As a result, the provisions of their tariffs under which they assessed these charges were void and the charges themselves were unlawful. Plaintiffs are entitled to recover monies improperly charged and collected from Plaintiffs pursuant to these unlawful tariff provisions."

Other plaintiffs include Level 3 Communications, owned by Century Link and doing business in Colorado; Broadwing Communications, owned by Level 3 and doing business in Colorado; Global Crossing Telecommunications, owned by Level 3 and doing business in Colorado; and WiilTel Communications, also owned by Level 3 and also doing business in Colorado.

The lawsuit involves a dispute over the rates that Kansas Fiber Network and Missouri Network Alliance charge Century Link and Level 3 for long distance calls using the defendants' networks. Plaintiffs allege that since at least 2011, the defendant have "substantially" overcharged.

Among relief the plaintiffs seek are refunds of amounts overpaid, an order voiding interstate and intrastate tariff rates, an order prohibiting defendants from billing at the rates currently set forth in their tariffs; damages for defendants’ alleged violation of the Communications Act, attorney fees and costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Karrie Clinkinbeard and Matthew Brunkhorst of Armstrong Teasdale in Kansas City, as well as Charles Steese and Douglas Marsh of Denver.

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U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Kansas City Division

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