Monday, March 3, 2008


Only an attorney could figure how to get more of your $$$$$$$
Bill: Let CUC Pay for Cost of Lawsuits.. Story Here
A bill has been proposed in the House of Representatives to require Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to pay for the costs of lawsuits won against it by customers. Rep. Joseph N. Camacho, an attorney by profession, says more lawyers will be willing to take on CUC cases if costs and attorney's fees
(big buck costs) are shifted to the corporation.
Now let me see.. Do you know who would pay this bill? You see CUC doesn't print money nor does it mine gold... Not even pozzolan.. Therefore YOU and I would pay this bill through, guess what.. higher power rates.. You see your little complaint isn't worth the 'big bucks' time of an 'attorney' so make the 'big' company pay.. Turns out to be YOU and ME!
Attorneys - 1 ... YOU and ME - 0 .. Guess who wins.
We get the honor to pay, no not only for the complaint, but the attorneys bill too!.. So take a $40 dollar complaint and turn it into a $4000 dollar expense. Don't you just love how it works?
The proposed legislation will become law once approved by the House and Senate, and signed by the governor. In the bill, Camacho notes that often CUC customers have valid and legitimate concerns. But CUC customers tend to fore go pursuing the issue because the amount being contested is nominal. Another reason is the customers cannot afford to hire a lawyer or even find one who would be able to take on the case. Camacho said this fosters and perpetuates an atmosphere where complaints are unresolved. “The Legislature also finds that when customers have valid and legitimate complaints regardless of that amount, it should be brought to light. (An attorney should get paid) Only through these processes, albeit difficult and litigious, (and costly) that CUC can address these matters,” states the bill.
So if we can get the legislature to agree to make YOU and ME pay for attorneys whose bill will be far greater then the disputed amount of the costumer, all wrongs will then be righted, get it? Damn, just what we need, an attorney sucking more funds from CUC, albeit from YOU and ME!
This is totally blatant and heartless, and this guy is now voted in to the HoR by WE the people.. Just another bloodsucker.. Who can't be bothered by your piddly complaint, which isn't important until he gets 'the big bucks'. You see he was elected to help solve the power crises but what does he do? Submits legislation to make it cost more through additional attorney fees. This won't help at all. You know who he's looking out for. It isn't you! When will it all end?


lil_hammerhead said...

If you've had to deal with CUC over a dispute with your bill.. you know where this is coming from. It's a horrible process, met seemingly with unconcerned and uncaring folks.

Having said that, it is ridiculous to suggest that CUC foot the bill for anyone who wants to sue CUC over their bill dispute.

If they win their case - CUC should pay for attorney's fees. The judge often makes such a determination.

Everyone and their mother would be lodging lawsuits against CUC if CUC was responsible for their attorney's fees. That "everybody" includes folks who don't have a legitimate claim and simply wish to "stick it to the man", or stretch out their dispute period.

glend558 said...

The focus should be correcting CUC's operation, not a gateway to lawsuits.

cactus said...

The proposal is that CUC pays only if the disputing party wins.

This kind of provision is intented to encourage attorneys to take cases that don't pay much, but that benefit the public by increasing the incentive to comply with the law. For example, it applies in civil rights cases, consumer protection cases, bad faith denial of insurance claims, etc.

It used to apply in labor cases until the recent PL 15-108 took it out, which is one of the worst features of that law.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

For what it's worth department: When you split off the 'funny/risque portion of your blog, Glen, it made that pic overload gaff on my office network go away. MUch easier to come over here now. I never did figure out what caused it...firewall? antivirus progs? my vid card? Beats me, but it's gone now...on both blogs.

Making CUC, or any party responsible for the opposing atty fees if the case is decided in the others favor is a pretty good idea. It makes both parties more responsible, and less likely to sue frivilously on the one hand or drag out proceedings on the other.

glend558 said...

Cactus, I fully understand your explaination. Nothing personal to you but isn't this kinda like using the backdoor to solve a problem at the frontdoor. CUC needs to be fixed in such a way that there isn't a need for lawsuits. Now I know that won't happen untill it is revamped, privatized and the government is completly out of the picture.
Thanks for your input..

glend558 said...

Bruce, Good to hear the 'problem' is fixed, I kinda missed your imput. You and 'cactus' made the same point and I understand that, but you know who will be paying the bill.
Welcome back!

cactus said...

I suppose what will happen, as a practical matter, is that CUC, when socked with a large award of attorney's fees, will just not pay it.

The consumer will then respond by not paying his power bills until the amount of the fee award has been paid off.

This would theoretically reduce the funds available to CUC, and thus increase power rates -- except that it would really just be a drop in the bucket of power bills that have gone unpaid and uncollected for no good reason at all.

Maybe a prevailing consumer should instead be given, instead of a direct award of fees from CUC, the right to collect the amount due to CUC from some non-paying consumer.

glend558 said...

What a quagmire, now CUC rates for residental power will fall back to 17.6 cents, throwing another monkey wrench into the gears again.
If the governor spent as much time and effort on the problems at CUC as he spends on freezing the .50 cent minimum wages something might get done. I guess repressing the lowest paid people is more important than the power company running amok. Sound political decisions....

Anonymous said...

The CNMI should have a law like many states do... when bringing a case against an individual or company, the prevailing party gets legal fees (the losing party pays). this means if you bring a frivolous suit, causing someone to incur heavy legal fees, and if you lose, then you pay for yours and their legal fees. Seems fair to me.

Anonymous said...

Omigod! I agree--with Bateman!!