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Grawitch v. Charter Communications, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 2, 2014

Matt Grawitch; Mike Woody, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs - Appellants
v.
Charter Communications, Inc., Defendant - Appellee

Submitted January 16, 2014

Page 957

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis.

For Matt Grawitch, Mike Woody, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Peter Jonathan Maag, Wood River, IL; Thomas Gordon Maag, Maag Law Firm, Wood River, IL.

For Charter Communications, Inc., Defendant - Appellee: James Walter Erwin, Robert J. Wagner, Roman Paul Wuller, Thompson & Coburn, Saint Louis, MO.

Before WOLLMAN, BYE, and MELLOY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 958

WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.

Matt Grawitch and Mike Woody, the named plaintiffs in a purported class action, filed suit against Charter Communications, Inc. (Charter), in Missouri state court, claiming that Charter violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), Mo. Rev. Stat. § 407.010 et seq., and breached its contract with the class members. The complaint alleged that Charter had provided the class members with Internet modems that were incapable of operating at the speed that Charter had promised. Charter removed the case to federal district court and then moved to dismiss the complaint. The district court[1] granted Charter's motion, and we affirm.

I. Background

Charter is a broadband communications company that provides cable, Internet, and telephone services. The plaintiffs subscribed to Charter's " Plus" Internet service under Charter's Internet Residential Customer Agreement (the Agreement) in 2011. Charter provided the plaintiffs with DOCSIS 2.0 modems at the time their Internet services were installed.

In December 2011, Charter upgraded its " Plus" and " Ultra" services in order to provide its customers with increased download speeds of up to 30 megabits per second (Mbps). Although DOCSIS 2.0 modems continued to function following the upgrade, they could not operate at the 30 Mbps speed. Instead, DOCSIS 3.0 modems were required to obtain the increased speed. Months after the upgrade, when the plaintiffs discovered that they were not receiving the 30 Mbps download

Page 959

speed because they did not have DOCSIS 3.0 modems, they contacted Charter and requested a refund. ...


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