Johnson v. AT&T


05/11/09 – 05/11/09

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Hearing on AT&T's motion to dismiss under the Federal Arbitration Act

The hearing considered (1) whether a contractual arbitration right was waived when the defendants moved to stay the action when filed, rather than objecting to jurisdiction, (2) whether the combination of a non-arbitrable claim with an arbitrable claim might prevent dismissal of both claims, and (3) whether the plaintiff's failure to raise in their answer brief their alternate grounds for jurisdiction (a forum selection clause in the merger agreement) should preclude consideration of the argument by the court.

The court stated its position that arbitration was warranted, but allowed further briefing on the issue.

The underlying action involved a claim by MediaOne employees that they were wrongfully deprived of their stock options during the merger of AT&T Wireless and Cingular.

In the complaint, filed in the Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of the MediaOne employees, Deborah Johnson and Jerry Rybin say the court's recent decision in a related case awarding $11.3 million to a group of ex-MediaOne executives establishes the right of the rank-and-file workers to the same relief. Lillis et al. v. AT&T Corp. et al., No. 717-VCL, 2007 WL 2110587 (Del. Ch. July 20, 2007)."


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