Water Customer Win: Class Action Suit Netted CT Ratepayers Significant Savings

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A large chunk of Connecticut homeowners just received hundreds of dollars’ worth of credits on their water bills to settle a major class-action suit.

NBC Connecticut Investigates started digging into their story more than seven years ago. 

That’s when the Metropolitan District Commission, or MDC, the main water supplier in greater Hartford, was accused of overcharging roughly 9,000 customers.

Celeste Linnell of South Windsor was one of the ones whose bills skyrocketed.

“When we started receiving those bills, those surcharges were more than our actual water bill”, Linnell said.

From 2012 to 2014, Linnell, and other MDC customers from non-member towns of South Windsor, East Granby, Glastonbury, and Farmington, received surcharges north of $100 on a quarterly basis.

The Metropolitan District Commission, or MDC

MDC non-member customers receive water service, but not sewer service.

The MDC defended the surcharges at the time.  It said the funds would help pay for capital projects.

Last September, after more than seven years, the MDC and the lawyers representing ratepayers in a class action suit settled, and now sizeable credits, that in some cases cover more than a year of water bills, have been arriving in the mail.

“I mean I was shocked.  I never expected to see that type of credit.  You know maybe $100 but never $640," Linnell said.

The only question Linnell had; just how much of what ratepayers shelled out are they actually getting back? 

The fine print of the settlement said ratepayers are getting back a little more than three quarters of what they paid in non-member town surcharges.

A large amount of what’s left will got to the attorneys involved in the class action suit.

The two sides in the settlement signed a non-disclosure agreement, so neither side can comment.

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