Armstrong Battles AT&T over Phone Bill
Lancaster, PA. September 27, 2005 -- Armstrong World Industries is a $3.5 billion corporation run by highly-educated, highly-paid executives. But Armstrong has at least one thing in common with us regular folk: it thinks it's phone bill is too high. And Armstrong says it can't get a good explanation from the phone company for the four-year-old bill, according to the Lancaster New Era.
So Armstrong is asking U.S. Bankruptcy Court to cut AT&T's claim for payment by 26 percent, saying the phone company's claim exceeds what Armstrong's files show it owes.
"... (N)othing in Armstrong's books and records evidences or supports a valid claim against Armstrong in the amount asserted by AT&T," writes Armstrong.
At issue is AT&T's claim for payment submitted in March 2001 for service in the months before Armstrong filed bankruptcy in December 2000.
In a nine-page objection filed Sept. 15, Armstrong says AT&T first said it was owed $625,000. The sum was revised to $634,000, then to $686,000. Armstrong, saying its files show it owes $505,000, says when it asked AT&T to substantiate the claim, the phone company responded with inadequate information.
"Armstrong and its professionals reviewed various spreadsheets provided by AT&T, but such documentation did not contain common information (such as telephone numbers) to enable a reasonable comparison (against Armstrong's files)," it writes. "Furthermore, despite repeated requests to AT&T and its counsel, Armstrong has been unable to obtain any invoices or additional information to support the amount asserted in the AT&T claim," Armstrong continues.
Armstrong wants the court to reduce AT&T's claim to the $505,000 that Armstrong's files show it owes. Some percentage of all allowed claims will be paid when Armstrong emerges from bankruptcy, though it's unknown when that will happen.
Lancaster-based Armstrong, a maker of floors, ceilings and cabinets, filed for bankruptcy to resolve nearly 200,000 claims alleging personal injury from asbestos insulation it once sold.
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