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Alleged Deceptive “Green” Marketing Class Action Filed in MA Court

By Renée Lani posted 16 days ago

  
Last week, Massachusetts residents filed a class action complaint in the Suffolk Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts alleging that Eversource Energy, an investor-owned combo utility, has been taking part in “unfair and false, deceptive and misleading business practices in marketing, promoting and selling natural gas and related natural gas services to consumers.”
 
The complaint alleges that Eversource’s marketing, which included paper and electronic newsletters, information inserted in monthly bills, and the company’s website, among other things, provided “false and deceptive environmental claims” pertaining to natural gas in violation of state law.  Plaintiffs also requested the creation of a sub-class to include those residents who have a gas stove in their homes.  Marketing language at issue includes, among others, “safe” and “clean” when used in connection with natural gas.  Plaintiffs requested a trial by jury and asked for relief in the form of an injunction, corrective messaging, and monetary damages. 
 
Marketing communications are governed both by state, and federal law.  Of interest to some may be the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides, which provides general principles that apply to all environmental marketing claims and how to qualify claims to avoid deceptive practices.  You can learn more about the guides here.
 
A copy of the complaint is available here.  APGA will monitor this case and provide updates as appropriate.
 
For questions on this article, please contact Renée Lani of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-0836 or by email at rlani@apga.org.

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