West Virginia District Court Rejects DirecTV’s Bid to Compel Arbitration

In 2012, the plaintiff entered into a cellphone service contract with AT&T Mobility in which she agreed to arbitrate all disputes and claims with AT&T Mobility and its “subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, employees, predecessors in interest, successors, and assigns.” Three years later, AT&T Inc., the parent company of AT&T Mobility, acquired DirecTV, which, unlike AT&T Mobility, provided satellite television service, not cellphone service.

In 2017, the plaintiff sued DirecTV in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia claiming that DirecTV violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by calling her cellphone to advertise DirecTV products and services even though her phone number is listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. Recognizing that the plaintiff had never been a DirecTV customer, DirecTV nonetheless moved to compel arbitration, asserting that the dispute was covered by an arbitration agreement in the contract governing the plaintiff’s cellphone service from AT&T Mobility, a DirecTV “affiliate.”

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