Articles Posted in Energy, Oil & Gas Law

by
In consolidated cases, two municipalities sought to provide electric service through municipal electric utilities. Central to both cases was the applicability Michigan Administrative Code Rule 411 (sometimes referred to as a utility’s right to first entitlement). Rule 460.3411 (Rule 411) was inapplicable when a municipal utility is involved and has not consented to the jurisdiction of the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC). Additionally, under the circumstances of each case, the Michigan Supreme Court found there was not a customer already receiving service from another utility; accordingly, MCL 124.3 did not prevent either plaintiff from providing electric service. View "City of Holland v. Consumers Energy Co." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff Beckie Price sued Defendant High Pointe Oil Company, Inc. claiming, among other things, for damages for the mental anguish, emotional distress, and other psychological injuries sustained when High Pointe negligently pumped 400 gallons of oil into the basement of her house. The incident created a hazard such that Plaintiff's house had to be razed. High Pointe moved for summary judgment, aruging that noneconomic damages resulting from real property damage were not compensable. The circuit court denied part of High Pointe's motion, concluding that damages could be recovered in a negligence action. The jury awarded Plaintiff $100,000 for noneconomic damages; High Pointe moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The circuit court denied High Pointe's motion, and the company subsequently appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that no Michigan case has ever allowed a plaintiff to recover noneconomic damages resulting solely from the negligent destruction of property, either real or personal. "Rather, the common law of this state has long provided that the appropriate measure of damages in cases involving the negligent destruction of property is simply the cost of replacement or repair of the property." The Court reversed and remanded the case for entry of summary judgment in High Pointe's favor. View "Price v. High Pointe Oil Company, Inc." on Justia Law