Angela Hawkins, a 52-year-old Verizon Wireless customer from Virginia, claims that a call with a rude customer service representative caused her to have a heart attack. The woman says that the customer service agent threatened to have her arrested which led to her heart attack. Now Hawkins is fighting back with a $2.35 million lawsuit in which she claims the company should pay up due to negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The Hampton Roads-Pilot reports that the grandmother of four called Verizon customer service when she discovered a problem with her wireless bill. Hawkins said instead of being connected with a helpful customer service representative that could take a look at her bill, she was made to speak with a rude agent who threatened her and caused severe emotional distress. The lawsuit claims that during the call Hawkins was wrongly accused by a supervisor of threatening to kill everyone in the call center. The company told the woman that they were going to have her arrested. The false accusation and stress, according to Hawkins, caused her to have a heart attack.
Hawkins says she never raised her voice to the customer service representative but simply was calling to inquire about a $60 credit she was promised on her bill by a previous agent. When the customer service agent couldn’t help her, the woman was told she should speak with a supervisor. After being placed on hold, a supervisor came onto the line and accused the grandmother of threatening the employee and said he was calling the police. The woman says she hung up and became immediately anxious. She repeatedly checked her blinds for police cars and became extremely stressed out and anxious. As a result of the stress, Hawkins says she began to experience chest tightness and pain.
To make matters worse, Hawkins says that about two hours after the whole ordeal the supervisor called back and apologized for the “miscommunication” noting that he had listened to the call and determined she had not threatened anyone. However, the grandmother says the damage was already done and that her $60 credit was never even mentioned.
“It’s one thing to say I can’t help you. It’s another thing to say I’m calling the police.”
After the ordeal, she went to the doctor to discuss the chest pain and an EKG revealed she had had a heart attack. Hawkins said her doctor personally drove her to a hospital, where she underwent surgery to place a stent in one of her arteries. She said she spent four days in the hospital.
The woman says she had no prior history of heart issues before the Verizon call other than cholesterol that was a little high. Hawkins is now suing Verizon Wireless for negligence and intentionally inflicting emotional harm upon her. She is seeking $2.35 million in damages.
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[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Spencer Platt]