Bethel attorneys add Outside muscle to class-action suit against GCI

GCI network coverage, western Alaska. Photo shared via KYUK.org.
GCI network coverage, western Alaska. Photo shared via KYUK.org.

A San Francisco-based law firm is now working with two Bethel attorneys who filed a class-action lawsuit against GCI for their marketing practices in the YK Delta.

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“We’re hoping that we can have some resolution or go to try within the next year,” says Bethel Attorney Dave Henderson. He, and fellow attorney Jim Valcarce, filed the lawsuit.

“GCI sold wireless services for voice and data plans, and promised that they’d be reasonable and reliable, and the services were not reasonably functional and reliable,” Henderson said.

In late April last year, four Bethel residents filed a class action lawsuit against General Communication, Inc., more commonly known as GCI.

The lawsuit claims that the data plan that GCI enrolled thousands of customers in rarely worked. Clients commonly experience slow data and drops calls, an issue where phone calls may unexpectedly end, or drop.

Henderson says the case is taking a lot of work and energy.

“We’re fighting against a company that has almost unlimited resources. And there’s hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pages of discovery and documents we need to go through about the service that was provided,” Henderson said.

Henderson and fellow attorney Jim Valcarce, have teamed up with San Francisco-based law firm Gerard Gibbs to work on the case.

“Dave Henderson and Jim Valcarce reached out to us because we specialize in class action lawsuits,” says Dan Gerard, the managing partner at the firm. “Given the facts here, we thought it made sense to work with Dave and Jim to represent the users of GCI services during the time period the case covers.”

The case focuses on GCI services from 2010-2014. The complaint seeks a list of items, including monetary recovery, fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract,” according to a 2014 press release.

GCI’s VP of Corporate Services David Morris couldn’t say much about the ongoing case right now.

“In respect to the class action lawsuit, all I can say is that the lawyers are still playing bat mitten the legal issues and it just goes back and forth,” Morris said.

The case is currently in the middle of hearing and depositions. It has not been decided if the lawsuit will go to trial.