LOS ANGELES & ST. LOUIS– LAWFUEL – Law Firm News –Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) (“Charter” or the “Company”), the nation’s third largest publicly traded cable and broadband telecommunications company, today filed a $150 million malpractice lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the California law firm of Irell & Manella LLP (“Irell”). In the lawsuit, Charter charges that a series of “critical errors” were made by Irell while it represented the Company in connection with a 1999 acquisition of cable systems.
The lawsuit charges that Irell and some of its partners committed errors in documenting the acquisition for Charter and then concealed those errors from Charter for many months. The lawsuit alleges that these errors cost Charter substantial financial loss and a significant portion of its ownership position in CC VIII, LLC, the subsidiary that was created by Charter to hold the acquired cable systems. According to the lawsuit, Irell admitted its errors in a December 2002 meeting with representatives of Charter. Charter previously disclosed the occurrence of these errors in various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“It is unfortunate that this dispute has come to this point, but we have a clear obligation to our shareholders and other stakeholders to seek to recover what the Company lost as a result of Irell’s admitted mistakes,” said Charter Executive Vice President and General Counsel Grier Raclin. “We believe our claims are compelling and substantial, particularly given that Irell repeatedly admitted its errors,” Raclin said.
Charter filed its five count federal complaint in the Santa Ana Division, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
About Charter Communications®
Charter Communications, Inc. is a leading broadband communications company and the third-largest publicly traded cable operator in the United States. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including advanced Charter Digital® video entertainment programming, Charter High-Speed™ Internet access service, and Charter Telephone® services. Charter Business™ similarly provides scalable, tailored and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business Internet access, data networking, video and music entertainment services and business telephone. Charter’s advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media® brand. More information about Charter can be found at www.charter.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), regarding, among other things, our plans, strategies and prospects, both business and financial. Charter will not undertake to revise forward-looking projections to reflect events after this date. Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or realize these plans, intentions or expectations. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many of the forward-looking statements contained in this release may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “will,” “may,” “intend,” “estimated,” “aim,” “on track,” “target,” “opportunity” and “potential,” among others. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we make in this release are set forth in reports or documents that we file from time to time with the SEC, and include, but are not limited to:
the availability, in general, of funds to meet interest payment obligations under our debt and to fund our operations and necessary capital expenditures, either through cash flows from operating activities, further borrowings or other sources and, in particular, our ability to be able to provide under the applicable debt instruments such funds (by dividend, investment or otherwise) to the applicable obligor of such debt;
our ability to comply with all covenants in our indentures and credit facilities, any violation of which could trigger a default of our other obligations under cross-default provisions;
our ability to pay or refinance debt prior to or when it becomes due and/or to take advantage of market opportunities and market windows to refinance that debt through new issuances, exchange offers or otherwise, including restructuring our balance sheet and leverage position;
competition from other video programming distributors, including incumbent telephone companies, direct broadcast satellite operators, wireless broadband providers and DSL providers;
unforeseen difficulties we may encounter in our continued introduction of our telephone services such as our ability to meet heightened customer expectations for the reliability of voice services compared to other services we provide and our ability to meet heightened demand for installations and customer service;
our ability to sustain and grow revenues and cash flows from operating activities by offering video, high-speed Internet, telephone and other services and to maintain and grow a stable customer base, particularly in the face of increasingly aggressive competition from other service providers;
our ability to obtain programming at reasonable prices or to pass programming cost increases on to our customers;
general business conditions, economic uncertainty or slowdown; and
the effects of governmental regulation, including but not limited to local franchise authorities, on our business.
All forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. We are under no duty or obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release.