News
June 21, 2005

Jenner & Block is Plaintiffs' counsel for US Unwired and its subsidiaries in a high-stakes civil trial that began June 20 against Sprint, as US Unwired seeks approximately $290 million in damages for Sprint’s alleged extortionate and fraudulent conduct related to the parties’ business dealings.  If successful in its suit, US Unwired’s damages could be trebled to over $800 million.

US Unwired, based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, owns and operates wireless telecommunications networks.  As a network partner (or “affiliate”) of Sprint, US Unwired has the exclusive right to provide wireless telecommunications services under the “Sprint” brand names within US Unwired’s service areas, which consist of portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.  As of March 31, 2005, these territories yielded a subscriber base of over 500,000 subscribers for US Unwired.  However, according to the complaint, Sprint improperly obtained control over US Unwired’s cash, US Unwired’s critical back-office functions, and other important aspects of US Unwired’s business and operations.

The complaint includes allegations that Sprint violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”),  and breached its contracts with US Unwired.  US Unwired’s RICO claim is brought pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1962(b), which prohibits any party from acquiring or maintaining any interest or control of any enterprise that is engaged in interstate commerce.

The members of the Firm’s legal team in the trial, which began June 20 in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Louisiana, are Partners Chester T. Kamin, Christopher D. Liguori, Andrew A. Jacobson, Matt D. Basil, Associates Terence G. Banich II, Darren J. Schmidt, Jennifer A. Hasch, Daniel S. Dooley, Robert J. Blazejowski, William R. Lee, Adam A. Hachikian.