By Carlos Granda, KABC TV-7 Los Angeles, CA
July 27, 2019
Watch the video of this news segment here: https://abc7.com/society/dwp-customers-due-millions-more-in-refunds-attorneys-say/5424381/%5D
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — There could be an additional $50 million in refunds for customers who were overbilled by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power back in 2013, attorneys say.
The billing mess sparked a class-action lawsuit against the utility and the city of Los Angeles, and was eventually settled to provide $67 million in refunds or credit to the ratepayers who were affected.
But a new group of attorneys handling the case say the agreement needs to be taken back to the drawing board and re-worked.
They believe those who were overbilled could be entitled to millions more in refunds.
The group of attorney’s also want to change how the utility deals with future issues.
“This is finally someone focusing on the rate-payers,” said Jamie Court from Consumer Watchdog. “What I hope though, is that we don’t just focus on the money. They need to come up with a way for DWP rate-payers to be heard when they come forward with problems and not dismissed.”
He detailed that the original attorneys working on the case on behalf of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feurer’s office had conflicts by also representing one person who filed the lawsuit against the city. That’s why Court believes they might not have worked out the best deal.
Re-working the agreement could cost millions of dollars and would have to be approved by the DWP and the city of L.A.
The FBI served search warrants at the utility’s offices as well as city Attorney Mike Feurer’s office this week. City officials later confirmed it was connected to the billing settlement.