Williams v. Duke Energy
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is this litigation about?
The plaintiffs allege that from 2005 to 2008 the defendants unlawfully paid rebates through an affiliate to 24 large industrial or commercial customers pursuant to separate side agreements. The plaintiffs contend that Duke violated two federal statutes, the Robinson-Patman Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and a state statute, Ohio’s Pattern of Corrupt Activity Act. The plaintiffs also assert common-law claims for fraud and civil conspiracy. The defendants deny these allegations, assert that the agreements and the payments did not violate any law, and otherwise maintain that they did not engage in any wrongdoing.
2. Has a Settlement been reached?
A settlement has been reached in this case with a total value of $80,875,000. Residential Class Members will receive fixed payment amounts for each qualifying day they paid a tariffed rate during the class period, from a settlement fund not to exceed $25,000,000. Non-Residential Class Members will receive fixed, and possibly variable amounts based upon usage, for each qualifying day they paid a tariffed rate during the class period, from a settlement fund not to exceed $25,000,000. Also, Class Members may receive direct benefits from programs developed using a minimum of $8,000,000 of settlement monies – the Class Benefit Fund.
3. What is the Class Benefit Fund?
$8,000,000 of the Settlement Sum, and other amounts, if any, will be directed to the Class Benefit Fund pursuant to the terms of the Settlement. This money shall be used to fund and promote energy-related programs and projects designed to leverage settlement dollars to benefit Class Members.
4. Who is eligible?
The Class consists generally of all residential and business (non-residential) ratepayers who received retail electric generation service from Duke Energy Corp. and/or Cinergy Corp. or their subsidiaries/affiliates at any time between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2008 in the CG&E/Duke Energy Ohio electric service territory and who did not receive rebates under the side agreements.
6. When will I receive my settlement benefit? When did distribution occur? When will I receive my check?
Court approved checks to eligible Non-residential/Commercial claimants who submitted valid and timely claims began mailing on January 27, 2017. Court approved checks to eligible Residential claimants who submitted valid and timely claims began mailing on February 2, 2017.
7. How can I request for my check to be reissued?
Check reissue requests must be submitted in writing to the Claims Administrator. Please be sure to include your full name, current address, former address if you need to update your contact information, claim number, and a daytime telephone number with the best time to contact you.
Please mail these items to:
Williams v. Duke Energy c/o GCG P.O. Box 10092 Dublin, OH 43017-6692.
8. I received a check on behalf of a deceased individual. How can I have this check reissued?
If you believe you are entitled to act on the decedent’s behalf please provide a copy of the death certificate and a letter detailing who you are, your relationship to the decedent along with the check you received and claim number.
Please also provide documentation which supports your right to act on behalf of the decedent or to accept funds on behalf of the estate.
Acceptable documentation includes but is not limited to Probate Order, Last Will and Testament, an Order appointing you as the Administrator or Executor of the Estate and a Small Estate Affidavit.
Please mail these items to:
Williams v. Duke Energy P.O. Box 10092 Dublin, OH, 43017-6692
If your request is complete your check will be reissued as soon as possible.
9. I put in a claim for more than one service address. Which service address was I paid for?
- If you are a Residential Claimant: The check sent to Residential claimants represents a consolidated payment of all eligible residential service addresses claimed by the claimant that matched the service days data.
- If you are a Non-residential/Commercial Claimant: The check sent to Non-residential/Commercial claimants represents a consolidated payment of all eligible Non-residential service addresses claimed by the claimant that matched the service days and usage data.
10. On the postcard check that I received there is a tear-off portion with a check-box that reads; "□ Please return only if your mailing address has changed". What is this?
Please tear off the top check portion and cash the check. The bottom portion is an address update request.
If you received the check forwarded from an old mailing address, please tear off the return postcard, complete and return it to us and we will update your address in our system.
You should not return the check merely because the address on the check is not current, please cash the check.
11. What are my tax reporting obligations?
We cannot provide tax advice to individual class members. For tax advice please consult your tax advisor.
A. If you are an eligible residential ratepayer, you are not required to complete a W-9.
B. If you are an eligible non-residential ratepayer you will be asked to complete a W-9. Eligible non-residential business claimants will be mailed a W-9 for each claim receiving a payment. If the W-9 is not filled out completely and returned, and the claim is receiving a payment of $600 or more, there is a requirement to withhold 28% of the payment and report it to the IRS.
You are required to submit IRS Form W-9 which was mailed to you. If we do not receive your completed, legible IRS Form W-9, any distribution to which you may be entitled to may be subject to withholding or may be delayed or forfeited.
12. Why was money withheld from my check?
Money was withheld from certain commercial/non-residential checks.
Absent a fully completed/certified W9, certain commercial payouts require an IRS mandated withholding. Please consult a tax professional for questions regarding withholdings, tax implications and reporting.