Hundreds of thousands of southwest Ohio electricity customers of Duke Energy (formerly Cincinnati Gas & Electric or CG&E) who are part of an $80 million class action settlement may lose the right to make claims for cash compensation if they do not act by the fast-approaching claims deadline set by the federal court — APRIL 13, 2016.
Eligible to make claims for cash compensation under the settlement are residential and non-residential customers who received their electricity from Duke (or CG&E) at any time between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008. Eligible customers can submit a claim online or by mail. To make a claim, customers should visit the settlement’s website, www.dukeclassaction.com and click on “Submit a Claim Online,” or call the claims administrator’s toll-free number, 1-844-322-8220. Filling out the claim form takes only a few minutes.
The settlement provides for two separate claims funds of about $25 million each — one for residential customers and the other for non-residential customers. Non-residential customers include businesses, non-profit organizations, and governmental entities such as municipalities, townships, and school districts.*
Presiding over the case is the Honorable Edmund Sargus, a federal judge in Columbus. The customers are represented by two Cincinnati law firms, Markovits, Stock & DeMarco, LLC, and Freking, Myers & Reul, LLC. One of the customers’ attorneys, Bill Markovits, stated: “We’ve seen a higher than normal claims rate for residential customers, but the number of non-residential customers making claims has not kept pace.”
Another of the customers’ attorneys, Paul De Marco, added: “We’re hoping the claims rate among businesses and non-profits picks up as the deadline approaches and as these customers realize that the claims process is simple and that their potential cash compensation is significant.”
Added a third attorney for the customers, Randy Freking: “It takes less than five minutes to make a claim on the website, and customers do not need to find the notice that was mailed to them. Given that and how much these customers could receive, it would be a shame if any business or non-profit in southwest Ohio misses out on this cash compensation.”
* Excluded from making claims are Duke and the members of the Industrial Energy Users-Ohio, Ohio Hospital Association, and Ohio Energy Group who entered into “option agreements” with Cinergy Retail Sales/Duke Energy Retail Sales prior to 2008.