A judge has thrown out an ongoing lawsuit against Entergy filed by outgoing Attorney General Jim Hood.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008 alleging that Entergy Mississippi violated the Consumer Protection Act by “refusing to buy the cheap electricity generated by newer, more efficient independent gas-powered generators owned by its competitors.” Hood claimed this action raised the cost for customers and that Entergy owed the state $1 billion.
Entergy has continuously denied all claims in the lawsuit, and CEO Haley Fisackerly made the following statement after the recent ruling.
“Entergy Mississippi has acted in the best interest of its customers. We have significant oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Mississippi Public Service Commission, who are tasked with ensuring we treat our customers fairly,” said Fisackerly.
“Entergy Mississippi has some of the lowest rates in the country. We’re proud of our reputation for integrity in our business practices, which decades of clean audits prove,” he added.
Since the lawsuit was filed the company has maintained that the case should proceed, if at all, before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Public Service Commission. In his ruling, Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas agreed.
In 2018, the Mississippi Legislature passed a bill which reauthorized and clarified that the MPSC is the proper venue to address state law claims against electric utilities.
This is also not the first time that the case had been brought before a judge. Entergy provided the following timeline of the case:
The trial in the U.S. District Court began on April 1, 2019. On the fourth day of trial, the U.S. District Court determined it lacked jurisdiction and sent the case back to Chancery Court. The hearing on Entergy Mississippi’s motion for summary judgment and the attorney general’s motion to transfer the case to Circuit Court was held in August of 2019. After due consideration, Judge Thomas granted summary judgment to the Entergy defendants on December 30, 2019.
The Attorney General has until January 29th to appeal the decision. New Attorney General Lynn Fitch will be sworn in later today.