Yesterday, Judge Richard Baldwin ruled that Comcast Oregon’s cable TV subscribers may seek statutory damages in their pending class action. Here is a pdf copy of the trial court’s opinion: Judge Baldwin Order & Opinion re amended class cert order. The upshot is that subscribers included in the late fee class action can seek $200, if they can prove that Comcast knowingly or recklessly violated Oregon’s late fee billing requirements.
As with other rulings in the case, it’s important to keep this in context. Judge Baldwin ruled only that the class can make the claim for statutory damages of $200 per class member. He did not rule on the merits. It will be up to a jury to decide whether Comcast knowingly or recklessly violated Oregon law.
Still, it’s great progress on the case. Of course, it raises the stakes substantially, so I imagine this means that Comcast will continue the long fight in this case that was first filed in 2004. For the present, Tim Quenelle and I are simply pushing ahead on case preparation and looking forward to our day in court.