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The Post-Storm Roles of Power Company Lawyers

Greetings from the Fairfax County Public Library!

As I discussed here last week, I had been holed up at a local hotel after being left without power and water for five days following the derecho storm. The power at my home finally was finally restored late last week, but phone, cable and Internet service is still down and out. That is why I am typing this from a table next to the children's section in the library. Hey, quiet down over there, Junior!!

So please forgive me for my fixation on storm-related issues lately. I pledge to stop writing about them when my Internet access returns. Today's storm-related question: What is the role of lawyers at a power company after massive storm outages?

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times reports that at Pepco, the primary power company in the D.C. area, the company's 23 lawyers have a specific "storm role" they are expected to carry out. First, the company's lawyers staff the "escalated call team," handling calls from customers who are not satisfied with the response they get from customer service (note to self: ask to speak to power company's lawyer next time my power goes out for days).

In addition, lawyers from different groups at the company must take on the unique issues presented by a massive storm. The company's regulatory lawyers, for example, start preparing required reports that must be filed with regulatory bodies after a major event, and try to prepare for any investigations that they anticipate may result from widespread outages. Other lawyers begin fielding (i.e., denying) customers' damages claims, such as for food that has gone bad or for loss of business. Pepco says it doesn't pay for either of these types of claims.

Posted by Bruce Carton on July 9, 2012 at 04:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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