They're threatening to terminate his service because he tethered, and violated the TOS.
I think the clamant would be crazy to take them up on it, but that's another point entirely.
Why? They may very well be offering him more money, just to get his signature on the NDA. I don't think AT&T is worried about <1K ... they'd much rather he shut up.
Case 1: judge recognizes att can control the content (tether vs non tether) then why can't i sue them if someone offends me on an email?
Case 2: they are a connection provider, so they have to allow you to use the connection in any way you can.
Analogy: could they legally have a phone plan like
20/mo unlimited calls
30/mo unlimited calls + 50 faxes
Seems just as inaccurate but at least captures the spirit.
"Under the Federal Arbitration Act, California must enforce arbitration agreements even if the agreement requires that consumer complaints be arbitrated individually (instead of on a class-action basis)." - http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/att-mobility-v-co...
A litany of small claims court settlements would put more money in the hands of plaintiffs, not lawyers, and would be available in the news cycle for much longer than a class action lawsuit/settlement.
They will learn from this mistake. They just ran into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
The way to handle this if you are AT&T is to pay the $850 and then ignore anything else he does and wait for it to go away.
We did year about it on the day the guy won his case. Yes, they are making more news out of a story they could have easily squashed, but it wasn't an unknown event that the guy won the initial case.
However perhaps if publikdemand is successful in driving media exposure though means such as this, it could have the same impact (or greater?).
Chipping away at them silently in small claims court isn't going to change their practices though.
They wont though. Nowhere near every potential member.
That is why class actions for small amounts exist. Most people either wont know they can sue, wont know how to sue or wont bother to sue. I applaud this gentleman for his efforts but he is the very small minority with the free time, know-how and balls to pull this off.