United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
YEN YI. LIU, et. al. Plaintiff,
VERIZON NEW ENGLAND INC., et. al., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
TALWANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Wen Y. Chiang and Yen Yi. Liu, proceeding pro se,
bring claims against Defendants Verizon New England, Inc.,
and Verizon Wireless (collectively, the “Verizon
Defendants”) arising from Plaintiffs' cellular and
television accounts, and against Defendants Tucker, Saltzman,
Dyer & O'Connell, LLP, and Attorney Samuel A.
Kennedy-Smith (collectively, the “Law Firm
Defendants”) arising from threats allegedly made by the
Law Firm Defendants while representing the Verizon Defendants
in prior proceedings. Compl. [#1]. Defendants jointly moved
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to
dismiss all counts of Plaintiffs' Complaint
[#1], but filed along with the motion a number of exhibits
that relate to “matters that are outside the
pleadings.” Mot. Dismiss at 1. n.1 [#26]; Mem. Supp.
Mot. Dismiss (“Defs.' Mem.”) Exs. 1-11 [#27].
The court did not exclude the exhibits attached to the
pleadings presented by Defendants, and instead gave notice
that the motion would be treated as a motion for summary
judgment under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56, and gave
Plaintiffs an opportunity to present material pertinent to
the motion. See Order [#44]; Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). The
record before the court now includes, in addition to the
above documents: Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of
Plaintiffs Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss as
Treated Summary Judgment [#55], the Affidavit of Yen
Li, Liu [#56], Plaintiffs' Undisputed Materials
Fact [#57] and exhibits thereto, and Defendants'
reasons set forth in this order, Defendants' Motion
to Dismiss All Counts of Plaintiff's Complaint, Pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) (6) [#26], treated as a motion for
summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(d) and 56, is ALLOWED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Chiang's State Court Complaints
February 8, 2016, Chiang filed a small claims complaint
against Verizon Wireless in Woburn District Court
(“Chiang Lawsuit No. 1”). Defs.' Mem. Ex. 1
[#27-1]; Pls.' Undisputed Material Facts (“Pls.
SOF”) Ex. J [#57-2]. In his complaint, Chiang alleged
that Verizon Wireless had overcharged him for his cell phone
account starting in June 2015, failed to credit Chiang's
account after Chiang noticed and complained about the
overcharges, and never gave Chiang a $300 gift card that
Verizon Wireless had promised Chiang. Id.
parties reached a settlement to resolve the dispute and on
July 11, 2016, Chiang executed an agreement (the
“Settlement Agreement”) stating:
Verizon New England . . . and its affiliates . . agree to
zero out . . . [Chiang's] final bill and issue [him] a
one-time check in the amount of $240 . . . . [Chiang]
agree[s] to voluntarily dismiss . . . [his] claims in this
matter with prejudice . . . [Chiang] agrees to release and
forever discharge Verizon, and its . . . parents,
subsidiaries, [and] affiliates . . . from all causes of
action . . . arising out of or relating to the Dispute.
Defs.' Mem. Ex. 2 [#27-2].
on July 6, 2016, Chiang filed a complaint against Verizon New
England in Woburn District Court (“Chiang Lawsuit No.
2”). Defs.' Mem. Ex. 3 [#27-3]. The complaint
restated the allegations in Chiang Lawsuit No. 1 and added
two additional allegations: (1) that Verizon had wrongfully
reported to the Credit Bureau that Chiang owed Verizon $1,
050.00, which Chiang only learned about in February 2016
after he had filed his complaint in Chiang Lawsuit No. 1; and
(2) that Chiang again did not receive a $300 gift card when
he opened a new account under a tenant's
New England moved to dismiss the complaint in Chiang Lawsuit
No. 2 on the grounds that res judicata barred Chiang's
claims in Chiang Lawsuit No. 2 and that, additionally, the
Settlement Agreement covered Chiang's claims. Defs.'
Mem. Ex. 4 [#27-4]. On October 13, 2016, the Woburn District
Court allowed Verizon New England's motion to dismiss on
the grounds that the Settlement Agreement covered the claims
in Chiang Lawsuit No. 2:
Upon review of the documents and hearing arguments from the
parties, the Court finds that it is undisputed that on July
11, 2016[, ] Plaintiff executed a broadly-worded release of
claims which includes all claims related to a previous
dispute arising against Defendant up to July 6, 2016. The
language of that release reasonably covers, by its terms, the
subject of this current action initiated by a complaint which
Plaintiff dated July 6, 2016. This action is therefore
dismissed with prejudice as barred by the July 11, 2016
August 11, 2017, Chiang filed another complaint against
Verizon Wireless in Woburn District Court (“Chiang
Lawsuit No. 3”). Defs.' Mem. Ex. 7 [#27-7]. Chiang
alleged that he was overcharged for several items, including
activation fees and taxes, in connection with the trade-in of
two iPhones and the purchase of two iPods during Thanksgiving