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SUIT CLAIMS ETHNIC SLURS IN MAILINGS.

Byline: JASON KANDEL Staff Writer

GLENDALE - A Glendale man who is a former Charter Communications employee has filed a lawsuit claiming someone from the company mailed him two bills and a promotional letter with threatening and derogatory remarks about his Armenian heritage.

Eric Mazmanyan, who receives Charter's cable services at his home, alleges the company mailed him two bills in June and July and a promotional mailer in September that changed his last name to spell out a death threat and ethnic slur.

The former Charter employee, who left the company before the mailings and is now a car salesman, accuses Charter of allowing "extremely callous, demeaning, racist and threatening correspondence" to be sent to his home, even after he notified company officials about the letters.

"It's shocking. I don't know how to explain it," said Mazmanyan, who worked for the company at a call center in Irwindale for about a decade before he quit in 2004 because of a work-related disability. "Especially if it happens three times. It keeps offending me. It's not right."

The promotional letter had an Irwindale return address, while the two bills had a Glendale return address.

Anita Lamont, a spokeswoman for St. Louis-based Charter, said the company would not comment on pending litigation.

After being informed of the first two letters, Steven D. Allison, an attorney for Charter, wrote in an Aug. 12 letter to Mazmanyan's attorney that "since learning of the situation, Charter Communications has made every effort to thoroughly and aggressively investigate," according to the complaint, filed April 13 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The next month, Mazmanyan received the promotional offer with the same offensive language.

The suit seeks unspecified damages and alleges civil-rights violations and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Mazmanyan's attorney, Matt Geragos, fumed over the mailings. He is the brother of attorney Mark Geragos, and both are Armenian.

"It's mind-boggling that Charter, which serves tens of thousands of Armenian-American customers, would allow such mail to go out, even after I communicated to its headquarters and to its chief counsel," he said. "It's as though it's a slap in the face."

jason.kandel(at)dailynews.com

(818) 546-3306
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 21, 2006
Words:361
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