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Business and Economy

Lawsuit Claims Electricity Company's Deception Cost Maine Consumers $35M

PORTLAND, Maine - A new class-action lawsuit claims that an electric company deceived Maine consumers and shorted them of $35 million.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland Nov. 18 claims that Electricity Maine used fraud and deception to enroll 200,000 Maine households and small businesses with the promise of substantial cost savings.

But attorney Benjamin Donahue says after a certain amount of time, consumers' rates went up to more than the standard offer, and they weren't given the advance written notice they were legally required to get.

"They would send notice by email, and our investigation has revealed that Electricity Maine was aware that email notices were going to people's spam email boxes. And people were re-enrolled at rates that were much higher than the rates they were signed up for."

Two Maine residents are seeking damages to recover the $35 million that Donahue says customers paid in excess of the standard offer. He says he's received calls from dozens more ratepayers since filing the lawsuit.

A representative for Spark Holdco LLC, which owns Electricity Maine, said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.