An Ipswich manufacturer will continue a countersuit charging AT&T with unfair trade practices, even though the giant telecom dropped a $1.15 million complaint against the company.
AT&T was suing Todd Tool & Abrasive Systems Inc. to force payment of nearly $900,000, plus interest, in illicit phone calls to Somalia made after the company’s phone system was hacked in 2009.
In a filing in federal court in Boston on Monday, AT&T requested that its complaint be dropped. “AT&T filed its complaint in this action in good faith, but has decided not to continue pursuit of this action,” the filing said. AT&T did not immediately return calls requesting comment.
Todd Tool president Michael Smith said on Monday that AT&T contacted his company after the Salem News and other outlets reported on the lawsuit, offering to drop its complaint if Todd Tool halted its countersuit. Smith decided not to drop his claim.
“Todd Tool has expended significant resources defending AT&T’s claim, and its owners have decided that they are unwilling to dismiss the Counterclaim at this time,” Todd Tool attorney Donna Mandriota said in a statement Tuesday.
Smith said that AT&T’s actions cost him three years of aggravation, lost business opportunities, and hefty legal bills. “Then they wake up one morning and say basically, ‘Oh, never mind.’ It doesn’t quite bring closure to me,” Smith said. “The main reason we’re pressing on is that I want to really get the word out to other small and medium-sized businesses to understand how really vulnerable they are and how the system is stacked against them.”