Monday, December 04, 2000
BLACKSTONE CALLING CARD, INC. FILES $50 MILLION LAWSUIT AGAINST 9278 COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
Miami (December 4, 2000) - Blackstone Calling Card, Inc., one of the nation's largest manufacturers and distributors of pre-paid phone cards and telecommunication services has filed a lawsuit against New York-based 9278 Communications, Inc.(NTSE.OB)and Spotlite Communications, Inc. The suit seeks damages in excess of $50 million and injunctive relief on the basis that 9278 Communications, Inc. tortiously interfered with an exclusive contract between Spotlite Communications and Blackstone, to distribute pre-paid long distance phone cards featuring top music industry celebrities, including Ricky Martin, Santana, and Christina Aguilera. The actions on the part of 9278 Communications and Spotlite Communications injured and damaged Blackstone in Miami-Dade County.
The lawsuit was filed in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County, Florida on behalf of Blackstone by Catlin, Saxon, Tuttle, Evans, Fink & Kolski, P.A.
According to the suit, in April 2000, Blackstone entered into an agreement with Spotlite Communications for the right to exclusively create and distribute pre-paid long distance phone cards featuring Ricky Martin, Santana and other high profile music artists. In August 2000, Blackstone discovered that Spotlite Communications had also knowingly entered into an agreement with 9278 Communications for the same distribution rights for a new competing product called the Access Live Phonecard Plus, a long distance phone card bearing the same artists covered by Blackstone's agreement with Spotlite Communications. By launching this product, 9278 Communications deliberately interfered with the contractual relationship between Blackstone and Spotlite Communications.
"When we found out both 9278 Communications and Spotlite Communications were in violation of our exclusive agreement, we immediately cautioned both companies about proceeding with their plan to launch the Access Live Phone Card Plus," stated Luis Arias, CEO of Blackstone Calling Card, Inc. According to the suit, Spotlite acknowledged the violation but refused to honor the agreement. In a statement issued by Spotlite Communications, Christoper Nelson and Bryan Schaffner said that they had no choice "because we needed the money."
"This litigation is about principles and ethics in business," added Arias. "It's a clear example of how agreements are only as good as the character of those who sign them."
Blackstone Calling Card, Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of prepaid products and services, is headquartered in Miami, Fla. Today, the company offers more than 50 prepaid calling cards, prepaid wireless, one plus long distance, Internet services, and point of sale terminals.