Natural Gas Wisconsin Antitrust Settlement

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Natural Gas Wisconsin Antitrust Settlement
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IMPORTANT: A SETTLEMENT WITH ADDITIONAL DEFENDANTS HAS BEEN REACHED 

A new settlement has been reached with Cantera Gas Company, LLC (f/k/a CMS Field Services, Inc.), CMS Energy Corporation, and CMS Energy Resource Management Company (f/k/a CMS Marketing Services & Trading Company) (collectively, “CMS”). Notice of the first Settlement was sent on/around February 15, 2017. Notice of the second settlement was sent on/around April 25, 2019.  Notice of this third Settlement that has been reached was sent on/around May 14, 2020.


If You are a Commercial or Industrial Entity that Bought Natural Gas in Wisconsin, Class Action Settlements May Affect You.

You or your company may have purchased natural gas for your own use or consumption in Wisconsin from January 1, 2000 through October 31, 2002.

The information currently contained on this website is only a summary. You may download a full copy of the Notice by clicking here, or file a claim by clicking here.

·   Class action lawsuits brought on behalf of certain commercial and industrial purchasers of natural gas for their own use or consumption in Wisconsin during the period from January 1, 2000, to October 31, 2002 (the “Class Period”) are currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.

The lawsuits allege that Defendants (listed below) and Co-Conspirators engaged in an unlawful agreement or conspiracy to manipulate the prices of natural gas during the Class Period. Plaintiffs further claim that certain commercial and industrial purchasers who purchased natural gas other than from utilities or local distribution companies and for their own use or consumption in Wisconsin may recover for the effect that the alleged conspiracy had on the prices of the natural gas they purchased. Plaintiffs allege that, as result of the unlawful conspiracy, they and other commercial and industrial purchasers paid more for natural gas than they would have absent the conspiracy. Defendants deny Plaintiffs’ claims.

A third notice was sent for this case on/around May 14, 2020. The first notice involved settlements in Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin with American  Electric  Power  Company,  Inc.,  and  certain  of  its  affiliates;  Coral Energy Resources, LP, and certain of its affiliates; Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, and certain of its affiliates; and ONEOK, Inc., and certain of its affiliates.

The second notice involved two additional settlements with El Paso LLC (f/k/a El Paso Corporation) and El Paso Marketing Company, L.L.C. (f/k/a El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P.) (collectively, “El Paso”), and Defendant CenterPoint Energy Services, Inc. (f/k/a Reliant Energy Retail, Inc.”) (“CenterPoint”) for natural gas purchases in Wisconsin only. The Court has now approved an additional settlement with CMS.

Your legal rights may be affected whether you act or don’t act. The Notice includes information on the settlements and the lawsuits. Please read the entire Notice carefully.

These rights and options—and deadlines to exercise them—are explained below:

Do Nothing

Remain a member of the Wisconsin Settlement Class

Opt-Out

By July 16, 2020

If you exclude yourself from the Wisconsin Settlement Class, you will not get any money from the settlements, and you may not intervene as a party plaintiff in any of the Actions. You will also retain rights to sue any of the Settling Defendants about claims concerning the sale of natural gas during the Class Period.

To request exclusion, you must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than July 16, 2020.

Object

By July 7, 2019

 

 

 

 

You can ask the Court to deny approval of the settlements by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a larger settlement; the Court can only approve or disapprove the settlements.

Any such objection must be mailed to the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, postmarked no later than July 7, 2020.  The Court’s address is: Clerk of Court, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 120 North Henry Street, Room 320, Madison, WI 53703, with reference to Natural Gas Settlement, Case Nos. 07-cv-76-wmc, 09‑cv‑240-wmc. The objection must also be mailed, postmarked no later than July 7, 2020, to Class Counsel or the Settlement Administrator, and to counsel for each of the Settling Defendants.

Final

Approval

Hearing

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 1:00 p.m. on August 6, 2020 at the Courtroom of the Honorable William M. Conley, United States District Court, 120 N. Henry Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53703. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the Settlement Website for information. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long it will take for the Court to make these decisions.


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