OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) – A federal judge in Washington State has disallowed national class-action status to a lawsuit against Sprint Nextel Corp. over billing issues.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan ruled Tuesday that the Utility Consumers' Action Network in California hadn't sufficiently shown the need to extend that state's consumer protection laws to Sprint subscribers in other states.

He did leave the door open, however, to the network pursuing a class-action suit in California.

The network filed suit in November 2007, claiming that Sprint was improperly charging telephone fees and taxes to subscribers who used only data services. Sprint has said the issue should be decided by the Federal Communications Commission.

Bryan is overseeing the case after the California judges recused themselves.

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