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A recently proposed class action settlement ends the lawsuit that alleged Pennsylvania Gas & Electric, U.S. Gas & Electric, and Energy Services Providers defrauded customers by implementing substantial and unanticipated utility rate increases for electric services. If you paid for electric service at any time until February 13, 2017, you might qualify as a class member in the Pennsylvania Gas & Electric class action settlement.
Primary plaintiff Thomas Sobiech filed the first Pennsylvania Gas & Electric rate increase class action lawsuit on July 25, 2014. According to court documents, Sobiech asserted the defendant’s deceitful acts and purposeful omissions in regards to energy supply services represented a breach of contract, as well as a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Sobiech pursued declaratory relief and financial damages.
Pennsylvania Gas & Electric continues to deny the charges, with the company filing a motion to dismiss that the judge denied. The utility company settled the class action lawsuit to avoid the uncertainty of a prolonged civil trial. On June 7, 2017, the judge preliminarily approved the Pennsylvania Gas & Electric class action settlement.
What You Need To Know
Class counsel confirmed that eligible class members “include anyone in Pennsylvania who purchased electricity from U.S. Gas & Electric, Energy Services Providers Inc. and Pennsylvania Gas & Electric at any time up to and including Feb. 13, 2017.” Eligible class members have until October 9, 2017 to opt out of the class action settlement or contest any of the provisions in the agreement. The potential award depends on the number of valid and timely claim forms received. Each qualifying claimant receives a pro rata distribution of the $1.25 class action settlement compensation fund.
Class members must present a claim number found within the mailed notice that announced the class action settlement. Each notice also includes an account number assigned to each class member. The settlement mandates claimants must declare that all of the information submitted is correct and each claimant must also declare he or she has not received a refund payment from Pennsylvania Gas & Electric. Class members make the declarations under the legal penalty of perjury.
The deadline to file a valid claim form is December 7, 2017. Thomas Sobiech v. U.S. Gas & Electric Inc., et al., Case No. 2:14-cv-04464-GAM, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has the final hearing scheduled on October 26, 2017. Learn what transpired at the final hearing by visiting the class action settlement website www.PAEnergySettlement.com. Class counsel consists of Jonathan Shub who represents the law firm Kohn Swift & Graft PC. Grant S. Palmer and Charles A. Fitzpatrick IV from Blank Rome LLP have assumed defense counsel responsibilities.