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Hall v. Sprint Spectrum, L.P.

376 Ill. App. 3d 822, 876 N.E.2d 1036, 315 Ill. Dec. 446 (2007)

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Hall v. Sprint Spectrum, L.P.

Appellate Court of Illinois

376 Ill. App. 3d 822, 876 N.E.2d 1036, 315 Ill. Dec. 446 (2007)

Facts

Sprint Spectrum, L.P. and SprintCom, Inc., doing business as Sprint PCS Group (Sprint) (defendants), provided wireless communication services. Sprint customers signed a contract that required the customer to pay an early termination fee if the service was canceled before a specified time. Jessica Hall (plaintiff) entered into a wireless contract with Sprint for two separate cellular phone lines. Hall fell behind on payments and Sprint stopped Hall’s service. Hall tried to cancel her one-year contract, but Sprint refused to do so unless she paid the balance due plus an early-termination fee. Sprint’s contract contained a choice-of-law provision selecting Kansas law, the state of Sprint’s incorporation. Hall filed a class action suit in Illinois state court against Sprint. Hall claimed that Sprint’s early-termination fees were unlawful penalties. Hall alleged various causes of action under the laws of Kansas, Illinois, and other states where Sprint conducted business. Hall requested class certification and argued that Kansas common law applied nationally to the breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and relief from unlawful penalties counts. The trial court certified a 48-state class and contemplated the application of Kansas law pursuant to the choice-of-law provision in the Sprint contract. Sprint appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

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