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Attorney: Lawsuit Not An Option For Frustrated Energy Customers

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Penn State graduate, attorney Eileen Hurley. (credit: Eileen Hurley)

Penn State graduate, attorney Eileen Hurley. (credit: Eileen Hurley)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Frustration among Delaware Valley area power consumers is high, particularly among those who were without power for days in freezing temperatures. Considering all they have been through, could they sue PECO or other utilities for compensation?

“The short answer is no,” says Attorney Eileen Hurley, who has her own Philadelphia practice. “When you enter a contract with an electric company or utility there are specific aspects of the contract that do not allow you to sue for a power outage. Electric companies are responsible with regards to transmission according to a negligence test of foresee-ability.  Power outages are expected. So this would be what we would call an emergency of unprecedented proportions caused by an act of God.”

Hurley says consumers do have some options though. You should first file a claim with PECO for damages suffered due to power loss, including flooding, freezing pipes, etc. Then, contact your home owner’s insurance and also your county to see if you are eligible for any federal funds since several counties were declared disaster areas.

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