TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The owner of a Longview apartment complex joined a class action lawsuit against Houston-based Symmetry Energy Solutions, alleging price gouging of natural gas customers during the February winter storm.
The lawsuit was initially filed in April on behalf of Certified Roses in Tyler, then the owner of Colony Park Apartments in Longview was added recently. Potts Law Firm in Dallas is leading this and another class action lawsuit against Griddy Energy for similar concerns.
The lawsuit alleges that Symmetry “wrongfully passed on certain costs to customers” during the winter storm.
“They did not prepare for the storm in their contracts. If they had, we wouldn’t be here today,” National Managing Partner Derek Potts said.
When Certified Roses and Colony Park received their natural gas bills for February, the lawsuit shows that the invoices included “incremental supply costs.”
“If you look at their contracts with the defendant, Symmetry, that phrase and those words do not appear anywhere in the contract,” Potts said. “Then after the storm, a new line item on the billing that had never existed before all of a sudden appeared with that phrase and these huge costs next to it.”
The “incremental supply costs” for Certified Roses was $233,494.59 and Colony Park was $13,234.20, according to the lawsuit.
“It is unlawful under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act to price gouge during a natural disaster, whether that is raising the price of gasoline or raising the price of bread or raising the price of energy,” Potts said.
Symmetry Energy Solutions provided a statement to KETK regarding the lawsuit.
“Symmetry believes this lawsuit is without merit and will vigorously contest these allegations. During Winter Storm Uri, the prices Symmetry paid for natural gas supply for our customers rose dramatically which, unfortunately, caused prices to rise for our customers. Symmetry is proud of our service and is committed to continuing to find solutions to the challenges that Symmetry and our customers are facing together.”Statement from Symmetry Energy Solutions
Potts said the lawsuit is in the beginning stages and discovery is not expected to start until summer.
“Ultimately, it will be up to the court to interpret the contract and decide whether they breached the contract or not, and ultimately there will be a jury trial,” Potts said.
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