Blumenthal serves company with lawsuit, delivers joke

John O'Brien Aug. 13, 2007, 2:54pm


HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced on Friday a lawsuit against Accurate Heating and Cooling by adding a little insult to injury.

"Inaccurate Oil would have been a more accurate name," said Blumenthal, who alleges the company failed to provide promised service.

The lawsuit says that beginning in April 2005, Accurate and owner Joseph Reynolds signed consumers to yearlong prepaid home heating oil delivery and service contracts but then didn't come through. The allegations are also the subject of a criminal action filed in Sept. 2006.

Blumenthal said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell urged him to file the suit.

"Freezing and frustrated is how customers rightly felt after this company failed them, flouting the law," Blumenthal added. "We'll fight for full redress to homeowners who had a legal right to full service.

"Accurate Oil broke the law repeatedly by failing to provide oil and service, and secure sufficient supply to meet its contractual obligations."

The criminal action, filed by the New Haven State's Attorney's Office, seeks restitution to consumers.

Blumenthal says the company charged $200-$500 for the contracts and violated another state law by failing to obtain futures (contracts to buy oil on a certain date at a certain price) or a performance bond to assure there would be enough heating oil for customers who prepaid for it.

His lawsuit seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and fines up to $5,000 per violation, as well as court costs.

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