Miami, Fl: Miami's regulated electricity monopoly, Florida Light & Power (FLP), is facing proposed consumer fraud class action lawsuits alleging the additional fees it’s been collecting from its customers following the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma’s landfall in 2005, to upgrade its power grid against tropical storms, is essentially fraudulent.
The allegations stem from the latest devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, which reportedly knocked out power to roughly 90 percent of FPL customers. Now, two South Miami-Dade residents, among others, are planning to file a class-action lawsuits against the power company for what they claim was a decade of poor planning and wasted "resiliency" money. (Miami New Times)
Two plaintiffs, Sandra Speier and Octavio Fernandez, claim they lost power as a result of the storm and remain without electricity in their homes. They're suing FPL for breach-of-contract: If the company charged customers to increase its "storm resiliency," they assert the power grid should have been far more "resilient" during the storm.
During Wilma, about 75 percent of FLP’s lost power, many for more than two weeks. Twelve years later, hurricane Irma, which was a larger storm, knocked out power to about 90 percent of the company’s customers. FPL was able to restore power for most of its customers within a week, but tens of thousands still remain without electricity. As of the morning of September 18th, 53,380 Miami-Dade residents were still without power and many harder-hit FPL customers in Southwest Florida will likely still be powerless for roughly two weeks or more. (Miami New Times.)