Woman Blames Verizon for Heart Attack

     NORFOLK, Va. (CN) – A Virginia woman claims in court that the abuse heaped upon her by a Verizon Wireless customer service employee caused her to have a heart attack.
     In a complaint filed in the Chesapeake City Circuit Court last week, Angela Hawkins says her call to the Verizon Wireless customer service office on November 19, 2014 started off routinely enough, but that as it continued, the company representative she identifies as “John Doe” began questioning her in “an aggressive manner” which caused her “distress and discomfort.”
     She says Doe placed her on hold and then, after a lengthy wait, she found herself speaking with another employee who identified himself as a manager.
     “The manager … accused her of making threats of violence to employees at the Verizon call center,” Hawkins says. “These allegations were patently false and designed to intimidate and shock the Plaintiff.”
     According to the complaint, the manager then told Hawkins he’d called the police and was having law enforcement officers dispatched to her home to arrest her.
     Hawkins says the stress of these exchanges caused her begin experiencing physical distress including tightness in her chest and difficulty breathing.
     She says as her condition worsened, she told the man on the phone that she thought she was having a heart attack. Despite this, she said, the manager continued to berate and abuse her.
     Shortly after the phone call with Jason Doe, Hawkins was treated medically. An emergency electrocardiogram confirmed she had suffered a myocardial infarction. Hawkins underwent emergency surgery and was hospitalized for four days.
     Hawkins says she sustained severe and permanent injuries to her heart and other organs and will remain under physician’s care for the rest of her life as a result of the aforesaid incident.
     Jeff Brooke, Hawkins’s attorney says despite the unique outcome of this particular customer service experience, Hawkins in not alone in her distain for how Verizon treats its customers.
     “I’ve been overwhelmed by disgusted and angry consumers contacting me about the trial,” Brooke says. “I’ve been inundated with people wanting me to bring similar law suits on their behalf.”
     Some naysayers have made comments to Brooke about the validity of the case, but he expressed confidence that he and his client will prevail.
     “The general reaction to this case has been positive,” Brooke said. “There is some skepticism with the question of whether abusive tactics be the cause of heart attacks, but the cardiologist confirms the medicine. Medicine and causation will be the determining factor in deciding this case.”
     Additionally, he said, “This case is all about recordings.”
     “All calls are recorded, so now it’s just a matter of finding the recordings and I find it curious we don’t have those recordings yet,” Brooks said.
     Hawkins seeks $2 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.
     Pat Blake, attorney for the defendants was unavailable for comment.

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