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I own a business and have just received a phone call from…

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Hello, I own a...

Hello, I own a business and have just received a phone call from Southwest Tennessee Electric that stated that we owe them for a period of 3 years due to faults in their equipment. They say that they will estimate how much we were undercharged for that period of time, and give us a bill for that amount. What if any legal recourse do we have?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

As of yet, no.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I believe that is all.

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/12/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 11 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,152
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. This to me sounds like a classic case of negligence. Negligence simply means that there was a duty that the other party owed and they breached that duty in some way. What is most important is that it is proven that the defendant breached their duty of care because that is what mostly determines whether there is a cause of action. Basically, the question is, “Did the defendant’s actions fall below the standard of care for a reasonable person in a similar situation?” Better stated, “Did STE’s actions fall below the standard of care for a reasonable electricity carrier in a similar situation.” If the answer to that question is yes, then there is negligence and you are entitled to damages. Damages can be difficult to calculate, but if you click here you can use a calculator help you understand. You may want to consider just writing a formal demand letter advising that they may be opening themselves up to litigation if they try to charge you.. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

This also appears to be a violation of the implied covenant (promise) of good faith and fair dealing. Under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 1-304, every contract comes with implied promises from both parties that they are going to be acting fairly toward one another. The failure of one party to act fairly toward the other can result in a breach of contract. To facilitate your situation, there’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If you send this letter and they do not respond, then you may want to consider bringing a lawsuit after that because it will be clear they will not be willing to settle the issue.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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