BLUEFIELD – A federal judge granted Verizon’s motion to compel arbitration in a lawsuit alleging it violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

“Although defendant has moved only to stay proceedings in this matter…the Fourth Circuit has ‘acknowledged that dismissal is a proper remedy when all of the issues presented in a lawsuit are arbitrable,’” the opinion and order states.

Since all of the plaintiff’s claims are subject to arbitration, “no useful purpose will be served by staying the pertinent proceedings pending arbitration.”

The court found that the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration and stay proceeding pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act should be, and hereby is, granted.

Accordingly, the complaint is dismissed without prejudice.

Judy Little became in arrears upon an alleged indebtedness to the defendant and Verizon began to engage in collection of the indebtedness through the use of telephone calls placed to Little, as well as written communication, according to a complaint filed May 24, 2016, in Mercer Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Sept. 6.

Little claimed the defendant’s actions were a violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act when it attempted to collect a debt by coercion and engaged in unreasonable or oppressive or abusive conduct.

The defendant also violated the West Virginia Computer Crime and Abuse Act by using an electronic communication device in an attempt to harass Little, according to the suit.

Little claimed the defendant also violated the Telephone Harassment Statute and common law invasion of privacy.

Little was seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Ralph C. Young, Christopher B. Frost, Steven R. Broadwater Jr. and Jed R. Nolan of Hamilton Burgess Young & Pollard.

Verizon was represented by Matthew A. Nelson and David A. Bosak of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 1:17-cv-03931

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