What is this Lawsuit About?
The Plaintiffs allege three classes:
(1) The Tiered Billing Class. Plaintiffs allege Los Angeles City Ordinances permit the LADWP to charge residential customers tier 2, tier 3, and tier 4 rates for water and electricity, but only under certain conditions. Plaintiffs believe that the LADWP charges tier 2, tier 3, and tier 4 rates improperly and, as a result, the LADWP can only charge at tier 1 rates. The LADWP alleges it properly calculated tiered rates under the Ordinances and applicable law, and denies that it owes any amount, or that it injured or damaged any of its customers in any way.
(2) The Backbilling Class. Plaintiffs allege the LADWP improperly billed residential customers through a backbill – a bill that included more than one billing cycle where one or more prior billing statements had not previously been billed to the residential customer. The LADWP alleges that it properly billed its customers and denies that it owes any amount, or that it injured or damaged any of its customers in any way.
(3) The Bane Act Class. Plaintiffs allege that the LADWP has the right to disconnect customers for nonpayment or place them into a payment plan, but only if the amount the LADWP says is owed is correct. If the amount is incorrect, but the LADWP does these things, then Plaintiffs allege the LADWP may be in violation of the Bane Act. The LADWP believes that it acted correctly and lawfully with respect to disconnections and payment plans and denies that it owes its residential customers any money.
A decision has not been made on who is right or wrong. The Plaintiffs will have to prove their claims at trial.
Who Is Affected?
If you were a LADWP residential customer at any time from March 16, 2014 through the present, and you paid a bill that had tier 2 or 3 rates for electricity, or you paid tier 2, 3, or 4 rates for water, you are potentially a member of the Tiered Billing Class.
If you are a residential customer and received a bill that included more than one billing cycle where one or more prior billing statements had not previously been billed to the customer (a “backbill”) from the LADWP from June 15, 2014 to September 10, 2015, or December 31, 2016 to March 6, 2017, you are potentially a member of the Backbilling Class.
If you are a residential customer and the LADWP disconnected your water or electric service, or you agreed to a payment arrangement with the LADWP at any time from July 17, 2014 to the present, and the amount in issue was later corrected by the LADWP, you might be a member of the Bane Act Class.