A defunct Westport, Conn.-based wireless Internet company, WiFiLand, continues a legal battle with St. Louis (Mo.) RV park despite winning the case — though the court award of $1 was far below what WiFiLand sought, the Connecticut Law Tribune reported.
WifiLand used to provide wireless service at campgrounds, but the RV park owners, George and Mary Hudson, said there was a reason they backed out of the contract, citing customer complaints of slow, erratic and sometimes nonexistent service in the park.
In March 2010, the Hudsons had signed a contract for WiFiLand to install wireless Internet service so visitors could purchase a password that gave them Internet access during their time at the St. Louis RV park. A month after a contractor installed equipment, guests began having trouble. In June, the park owners asked the Connecticut company to send someone to troubleshoot problems. Still, problems persisted. Following another wireless outage in October, when a contractor couldn’t figure how to fix the service, the couple opted to severe ties with the company.
Mary Hudson wrote to the owner of WiFiLand, saying they would discontinue service and that the contract in place was actually never executed. She informed the company it had 10 days to remove its equipment. The company wrote back, saying the Hudsons violated their contract, in part by not providing adequate notice or giving the company enough time to remedy the problems.
WiFiLand filed a complaint in Connecticut Superior Court in January, 2011.
In the end, a trial judge ruled the Internet system worked at least some of the time and agreed with WifiLand that a contract had been breached. But he awared the plaintiff only a nominal $1 in damages and $5,000 in attorney fees, far shy of the attorney fees sought by WiFiLand.
Since then, the case has dragged on, wrapped up in appeals, counter-appeals and, at one point, settlement negotiations. It still isn’t over, despite a recent ruling from the Connecticut Appellate Court affirming the trial court’s decision.
David Burke, the attorney who represented the Hudsons, said “I would just like this to end for my client.”
The owner of the now-defunct Internet company is on his third attorney.
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