September 15, 2017 – The City of Long Beach, California has agreed to a $16.6 million settlement to resolve a decade-long class action seeking refunds of telephone taxes paid to City from 2005 to 2008.
The lawsuit, McWilliams v. Long Beach, was filed in 2006 challenging the City’s imposition of a Utility Users Tax (“UUT”) on long distance, mobile, and other telephone services. In 2013, the plaintiff won a landmark appeal in the California Supreme Court, allowing the class action refund claim to proceed.
The settlement provides for refunds of up to 100% of the tax collected on mobile telephone service, and up to 70% of the tax collected on residential service. A hearing on the motion for preliminary approval is scheduled for December 12, 2017.
The plaintiff is represented by Nicholas E. Chimicles and Timothy N. Mathews of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP, along with their co-counsel Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP; Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP; and Tostrud Law Group, PC.