Florida woman alleges NWP, WRH charged unlawful utilities

By Robbie Hargett | Feb 1, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Legal Newsline) - A Florida woman is suing a realty services company and a utility management services company, alleging unlawful utility charges.

Alisa Brown of Jacksonville, Florida, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit Jan. 28 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Jacksonville Division against NWP Services Corporation and WRH Realty Services, alleging breach of contract, violations of the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act, violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act, and violations of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act.

The suit states NWP sent bills for water and sewer to Brown and other tenants of apartment communities in Florida managed by WRH, but these bills, which were based on an allocation methodology, were sent to tenants who allegedly were not given the required allocation billing addendum.

The suit further alleges the defendants sent monthly statements for trash and pest control services to Brown and others in the class who allegedly should not have been charged for such services under their leases. The lawsuit states Brown and others in the class were overcharged for water and sewer services in excess of the amounts the public utility charged to apartment communities.

Brown and others in the class seek injunctive relief, damages, a refund of all water, sewer, trash, and pest control charges, statutory damages of $1,000 per class member, interests, attorney fees and costs. They are represented by attorneys Brian W. Warwick, Janet R. Varnell and Steven T. Simmons,Jr. of Varnell & Warwick PA in Lady Lake, Florida, and by attorneys James A. Kowalski, Jr. and Jeffrey Graham Haynie of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Inc. in Jacksonville.

The defendants filed to have the case removed to federal court because the amount in controversy potentially exceeds $5 million, there are more than 100 putative class members and there is minimal diversity among the parties.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Jacksonville Division Case number 3:16-CV-00081-BJD-JRK

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