The Association of U S West Retirees



Judge throws out Qwest lawsuit in N.M.
By The Associated Press
Denver Post
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Santa Fe - U.S. District Judge William Johnson has dismissed Qwest's lawsuit against the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, ruling that the federal court had no jurisdiction over the issues raised.

The suit challenged the PRC's 2001 order requiring Qwest to invest $788 million in New Mexico's aging telecommunications system by next month.  Qwest expects to be about $200 million short by the deadline.

The PRC last April ordered Qwest to comply with the original order after public hearings indicated the company was falling short.

The PRC had allowed Qwest to impose two rate increases in return for the investments but found Qwest did not make any further investments after the second rate hike.

Qwest also has appealed the PRC's order to the state Supreme Court, which heard arguments Feb. 14.  A decision is pending.