Memphis attorney says class action lawsuit against MLGW in the works

A class action lawsuit is in the works in the controversy over MLGW's third party notification policy, Action News 5 learned Monday.

The attorney involved says the purpose of the lawsuit is to create a fair policy for everyone in the Mid-South, without any favorable treatment.

Brenna Miller and Phillip Crawford are disabled. They live on a fixed income and insist they're not making enough to pay the bills.

"We're selling everything we own trying to make it," says Miller.

But, cut off notices keep coming from MLGW. They've asked for help but fear one day the lights will go out along with the heat.

"The average citizen doesn't get any respect," says Crawford.

They insist some people do get respect after hearing about a list created within the utility company with current and former politicians protected from being cut off.

Miller adds,  "to my children I am a very important person, so who is more important than who?"

Now, one local attorney has had enough.

"The law says that every public entity must treat everybody the same," says Attorney Javier Bailey. "Everybody is not being treated the same."

Bailey says litigation is in the works, most likely a class action lawsuit involving thousands of people all with the same complaint.

Bailey adds, "their ought to be some policy in place so that everyone is treated equally."

It's a simple goal but effective, helping everybody equally. It's a lawsuit expected to be filed in a week.

In addition to creating a fair policy, Bailey hopes an assistance program could also come out of the lawsuit where an assistance program is available for people who really need help to pay their bills.

To contact Attorney Javier Bailey about the lawsuit click or call the Walter Bailey Law Firm at 901-575-8702.

In related news Monday, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton responded for the first time in a strongly worded letter to the Chairman of MLGW's governing board. Mayor Herenton says the practice of making third-party notification of pending service shut-offs for political V.I.P.'s must end.

Herenton asked the utility's board to conduct an audit of the practice and that Councilman Edmund Ford, who is reportedly tens of thousands of dollars in arrears, be forced to balance his accounts within thirty days or to face discontinuation of service.

"The Board," he wrote, "needs to take decisive actions in order to restore the public trust so as to allay the influence of elected officials and media to an already regrettable situation."

Click here to read the full text of the Mayor's letter.


to email Andrew Douglas.