Rhode Island Lawyers for the Public Interest

Relief for Medically Vulnerable Utility Consumers

The Center for Justice has obtained important relief for medically vulnerable utility consumers through a lawsuit recently filed against National Grid and the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.  Over several days of hearings in Rhode Island State Superior Court, Center for Justice attorneys and co-counsel Lynette Labinger successfully argued in support of expansion of a temporary restraining order preventing utility shut off and requiring restoration of utility services for households suffering from serious illnesses and disabilities….

It is estimated that more than 3,000 utility consumer households throughout the State have been designated as “medically protected” but remain at risk of utility shut off when they fall behind on their utility bills.  Six weeks after the filing of this lawsuit, at least 24 such households were identified as currently without gas and/or electric service.  Due to the Center for Justice’s legal advocacy and the tireless work of our community partners, National Grid has agreed to immediately restore utility service to these households and all others similarly situated.

Executive Director, Rob McCreanor (second from left), and Staff Attorney Marissa Janton (right), with members of households who will benefit from utility restoration.

The case is not over.  Along with our community partner, the George Wiley Center, we will continue to seek permanent relief to provide meaningful protection against shut off for medically vulnerable consumers and their families.

If you are seeking protection from utility shut off or restoration of utility service based on medical conditions, or would like more information about this case, please contact Keally Cieslik at kcieslik@centerforjustice.org or 401 491 1101 ext. 802.

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