MIAMI (Legal Newsline) - Two Florida residents are suing the state's two largest utility companies, alleging their ratepayers pay inflated rates on nuclear projects that provide no benefits.
William B. Newton of Clearwater, Florida, and Noreen Allison of Naples, Florida, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit Feb. 22 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power & Light Company, alleging violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause, preemption under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and Florida Common Law unjust enrichment.
The suit alleges that since Nov. 12, 2008, the utility companies' ratepayers have been forced by orders of the Florida Public Service Commission to pay inflated rates to fund various nuclear power plant projects launched by the defendants. Many of these projects, the lawsuit states, never generate any electricity or provide any other benefit for ratepayers, and when the projects are abandoned, the defendants keep the money and collect even more.
The plaintiffs and others in the class seek declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, restitution and damages, interests, attorney fees and costs. They are represented by attorneys Jack Reise and Paul J. Geller of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP in Boca Raton, Florida, and by attorneys Steve W. Berman, Barbara Mahoney and Jerrod C. Patterson of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Seattle.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Case number 0:16-CV-60341-WPD