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I-Team: Hundreds join planned class-action lawsuit against CMP

Hundreds of Central Maine Power customers are joining a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming they've been over-charged.

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- Hundreds of Central Maine Power customers are joining a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming they've been over-charged.

Attorneys from the Augusta-based law firm Lipman and Katz said they're teaming up with two firms, one out of New York City, to tackle a lawsuit that could grow much bigger.

In a press release sent Tuesday night, Sumner Lipman said the firm has been contacted by more than 200 customers already and is inviting thousands more from the Facebook group "CMP Ratepayers Unite" to join them.

It all comes after an I-Team investigation into record-high bills and usage that's lead to a state investigation.

According to a filing with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, CMP revealed 97,000 customer accounts saw a 50 percent increase, or more, in either their usage or total charges compared to the same time last year.

In a letter, Lipman writes in part, "These people deserve an opportunity to be compensated for their harm. Many of these people paid their bills even though they were unreasonable and excessive so that their electrical service was not interrupted."

Gail Rice, spokesperson for CMP, said, "We value our customers and are committed to fair and accurate metering and billing. CMP has not seen a copy of the referenced complaint and therefore cannot comment on the matter at this point."

CMP has repeatedly said it hasn't found any systemic problems that would affect bill accuracy.

Lipman said they expect to file a complaint in Cumberland County Superior Court at 1 p.m. on Thursday.

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