Duke Energy to Settle Lawsuit in Ohio for $81 Million
COLUMBUS, Ohio— Duke Energy Corp. has reached an $81 million settlement agreement to end a class-action lawsuit alleging it gave improper rebates to some large electric customers of its Ohio subsidiary.
The Charlotte, N.C., utility denied the allegations and said Wednesday it was settling to avoid litigation “costs and uncertainties.” It said a federal court in Columbus would have to approve the proposal.
An attorney for the plaintiffs said the class action includes more than 1 million residential and nonresidential customers in southwest Ohio. Attorney Bill Markovits said Duke’s payments to 22 large customers were unfair to hundreds of thousands of others who followed the rules.
The lawsuit claimed contracts between Duke Energy Retail Sales and some of Duke Energy Ohio’s industrial and business customers from 2005 through 2008 violated antitrust and other laws.