Energy Service Experts Class Action Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

Energy Service Experts Class Action Lawsuit

Energy Service Experts Class Action Lawsuit

The energy sector is ever-changing as new technologies emerge and old ones become obsolete. Due to this rapid pace of change, many people have been left out of the loop when it comes to getting their fair share of the energy market.

That’s why in February 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against several energy service providers (ESPs) who are alleged to have colluded on price-fixing bids for residential contracts. The plaintiffs claim they were overcharged by as much as 80%—with some customers even paying more than $200 per month for what should have cost them less than $50 at most.

If you regularly sold your home and had an ESP perform minor repair or maintenance services, you’re probably wondering if you’re part of this lawsuit too. Or maybe you’re wondering how it would affect you as a homeowner if your ESPS are named as defendants. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this case so that you can protect yourself from potential financial harm and ensure your interests are represented in court.

Energy Service Experts Class Action Lawsuit
Energy Service Lawsuit | Pixabay Property

A brief history of the lawsuit and class action

In February 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against several energy service providers (ESPs) who are alleged to have colluded on price-fixing bids for residential contracts. The plaintiffs claim they were overcharged by as much as 80%—with some customers even paying more than $200 per month for what should have cost them less than $50 at most.

The lawsuit was filed in a California federal court, which means that in addition to suing the defendants, the plaintiffs are seeking to represent all other consumers who may have been overcharged by the same amount. The plaintiffs are claiming that the defendants conspired to fix prices by dividing the market into “favorites” and “losers.” Defendants would allegedly “treat customers as their own competitors” and unfairly split the market for all customers, regardless of the customers’ own desires.

Who is suing in the lawsuit?

The plaintiffs are a group of homeowners who regularly bought energy contracts from certain ESPs and who allege that they were overcharged. The plaintiffs seek to represent all other homeowners who may have been affected by the same practices.

These plaintiffs include: Plaintiff Matthew Wilk, who sells his home and contracts to an ESP every year. Wilk alleges that every year, he is offered the same identical contract from an ESP, with the same energy provider, and the same monthly price. Plaintiff Mark J. Lee, who sells his home and contracts to an ESP every year.

Lee alleges that he is offered the same identical contract from an ESP, with the same energy provider, and the same monthly price. Plaintiff Michael J. Houston, who sells his home and contracts to an ESP every year. Houston alleges that he is offered the same identical contract from an ESP, with the same energy provider, and the same monthly price.

How much money are people suing for?

The plaintiffs are seeking to represent all other consumers who may have been overcharged by the same amount. In their lawsuit, plaintiffs are seeking damages and compensation of $5 billion. The plaintiffs also want to ensure that other homeowners receive the same discounts and terms that they did.

What will the defendants do next?

If the lawsuit is successful and the plaintiffs are granted class-action status, the defendants will have to respond to the lawsuit and defend themselves. The plaintiffs will then seek to have the defendants found liable for their conduct, and the court will determine the level of damages and compensation.

If the defendants are found to have violated antitrust laws, regulators in the U.S. and other jurisdictions may investigate them and impose fines and/or other penalties. The defendants may also face actions from disgruntled customers who were overcharged.

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Energy Service Experts Class Action Lawsuit
Energy Service Experts Lawsuit | Pixabay Property

How can you protect yourself from being sued?

If you have an energy contract with a potential defendant in this lawsuit, you’ll have to make the decision of whether to continue with your contract or end it. If you decide to end your contract, you can protect yourself against being sued. You should always read your contract before signing it, and you should know whether your contract includes a cooling-off period.

A cooling-off period allows you to cancel your contract before it ends without paying any early cancellation fees. The Energy Consumers Coalition recommends checking your state’s laws to see if there are any limits on the amount you can charge your customer for cancelling a contract before its due date. Another thing you can do is to ask your service provider for a copy of their customer contract.

You can see if your service provider has any kind of affiliation or partnership with another business in the energy or contracting industry (such as an affiliate marketing or exchange program). If you see any red flags like these, you can use them to decide whether or not to keep your contract with your service provider.

Final Words

This lawsuit is likely to create a lot of uncertainty in the energy market as new rules and regulations take effect. For now, it’s important to protect yourself against potential financial harm by choosing a reputable service provider. If your potential ESPS are named as defendants, you’ll have to make some decisions based on your own interests and those of your household.

Make sure you understand your contract terms, and make sure you don’t sign any contracts that you don’t need or that you think are unnecessary. If you have any questions about the lawsuit or your potential ESPS, you should consult a lawyer.

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