Judge orders Charter to pay $19M to Windstream in false advertising suit

Judge Drain issued an order saying Charter must pay damages of $19 million to Windstream stemming from “their literally false and intentionally misleading advertising campaign." (Getty Images)

A federal judge has ordered Charter Communications to pay $19 million in a lawsuit filed by Windstream related to false advertising.

Windstream sued Charter in April 2019 because Charter had sent letters to Windstream subscribers making it seem as if Windstream was going out of business and encouraging them to switch to Charter.

Windstream was, in fact, involved in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. But it wasn’t going out of business.

Charter had used envelopes that had Windstream's trademark and company colors to imply that it would not be able to provide services to its subscribers and that it was going to liquidate its assets.

In May 2019 Judge Robert Drain in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York ruled that Charter Communications must send letters to Windstream subscribers saying that an advertisement sent to them by Charter "was untrue and improper."

RELATED: Judge rules that Charter must pay for letters to Windstream customers over ad campaigns

Yesterday, Judge Drain issued an order saying Charter must pay damages of $19 million to Windstream stemming from “their literally false and intentionally misleading advertising campaign that wrongfully interfered with [Windstream’s] customer contracts and goodwill.”
 
Kristi Moody, EVP and general counsel for Windstream, said today, “We are gratified that Judge Drain’s ruling means Charter will have to pay a significant price for its egregious false advertising. Charter knew full well what it was doing when it embarked on a dishonest scare-tactic campaign to lure away our customers. At Windstream, we will always aggressively defend ourselves and our customers against predatory schemes and meritless allegations.”
 
RELATED: Windstream shakes free from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Windstream Holdings announced in September 2020 that it was free from the shackles of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Windstream is serving its business and residential customers across three divisions: Windstream Enterprise, Kinetic by Windstream and Windstream Wholesale. The company now bills itself as a "software and communications company." It’s led by its President and CEO Tony Thomas.