TORONTO, July 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Koskie Minsky LLP and Lax O'Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP have launched a class action against Hydro One Inc. and four of its subsidiaries that alleges widespread and improper billing and account management practices. The claim is brought on behalf of all of Hydro One's customers since May 2013.
A Notice of Action filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice alleges that on or around May 2013, Hydro One installed a new billing and account management system. Immediately, systemic problems arose as a result of Hydro One's faulty design, administration and management of this new system: (a) tens of thousands of customers stopped receiving bills; (b) others only received bills based on estimates for long periods, later receiving massive "catch-up" bills; (c) many customers had large sums of money withdrawn automatically by Hydro One from their bank accounts without notice or explanation; and (d) thousands of accounts were affected by billing and administrative errors, including by bills that did not reflect the electricity actually consumed by Hydro One's customers.
The proposed class action seeks a total of $125 million dollars in damages.
Paul Foster, a Hydro One customer who was affected by Hydro One's billing and mismanagement nightmare, is the proposed representative plaintiff.
On May 25, 2015, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin issued a report entitled "In the Dark," an investigation into the transparency of Hydro One's billing practices and the timeliness and effectiveness of its process for responding to customer concerns. Mr. Marin's findings were scathing, including an unprecedented number of complaints, deception by Hydro One of its regulator, failed attempts to hide the extent of the impact of its billing system errors, and "mind-boggling maladministration."
"Hydro One customers are particularly vulnerable to Hydro One's administration and billing abuses as a result of its near monopolistic nature and the importance of the services it renders to customers," says Kirk M. Baert, a partner at Koskie Minsky LLP.
Eric R. Hoaken, a partner at Lax O'Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP, added: "It's time that Hydro One accounted for the billing abuses it has perpetrated on its customers."
Koskie Minsky LLP and Lax O'Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP represent the plaintiff in this action.
SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP
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