San Diego

San Diego, CA: (May-19-07) Consumer advocate Michael Shames filed a class action lawsuit against San Diego, accusing the city of allowing single-family sewer customers to subsidize the bills of businesses. Shames, who heads the Utility Consumers' Action Network, claimed that San Diego's multifamily, commercial and industrial sewer customers paid proportionally less than single-family customers because the city collected sewer fees that didn't vary based on the amount of organic pollutants in the waste. In a settlement reached, a Superior Court judge approved a $40 million settlement between the city and Shames. Under the settlement, San Diego's 223,000 single-family sewer customers are projected to receive rebates from future billing fees. Shames also sought and the court approved the appointment of an oversight panel to monitor City water and sewer rates. Attorneys for Shames were James T. Capretz of Capretz & Associates, Newport Beach, CA. Eric J. Benink of Krause, Kalfayan, Benink & Slavens, LLP of San Diego, CA. Thomas D. Penfield of Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP of San Diego, CA. [SIGN ON SAN DIEGO: SEWER CUSTOMERS]

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