Eck, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al. Settlement

If You Were A Retail Electricity Customer Of The Los Angeles Department Of Water And Power from January 29, 2012 to September 14, 2017, This Class Action Settlement May Affect Your Rights

Updated as of February 18, 2020:

On October 15, 2019, the Court of Appeal dismissed the last appeal.  The Settlement is now final.  In April 2020, LADWP will begin distributing the Net Settlement Fund to LADWP customers through a per kilowatt-hour ("kWh") credit to your LADWP electric rates.  The credit will be applied for approximately one year (April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021) until the entirety of the Net Settlement Fund is disbursed.  The credit will not be stated on your bill.  Rather, it will be automatically applied within your electric rates’ calculation in the form of a rate reduction.  The amount that your bill will go down (from what the bill otherwise would be) due to the Net Settlement Fund credit depends on your electricity usage during the particular billing period.

Updated as of February 8, 2019:

On February 14, 2018, the Court issued its final approval of the Settlement, and February 26, 2018 it entered a Final Order and Judgment (the Court's Final Order and Judgment are available for download on the Documents page of the website).

However, a number of objectors filed appeals to the Final Judgment, challenging the Court's ruling.  To date, the Court of Appeals dismissed all but one of these appeals.  One remains pending.  While Plaintiffs contend that the claims of this objector are without merit and that the Appeal is itself frivolous and should be summarily dismissed, it will continue to take some time to resolve these challenges.  The objector’s Opening appellate brief, along with Plaintiffs’ Motion to Dismiss the Appeal and brief in response to the opening brief are available on the Documents page of this website (please note that the voluminous exhibits to these documents are available upon request to

Because of the sole remaining appeal of this objector, it is not possible to state the date when the applicable portion of the $52 million Settlement Fund will be available to be distributed to LADWP customers pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  Please note, however, that pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, the City of Los Angeles has already stopped charging the allegedly wrongful taxes that were enacted by the City's 2016 electric rate ordinance.  

Please be patient.  We will update the Website and Toll-Free number when new information is available.  Thank you.

To view a full copy of the Notice, please click here.

Summary of Settlement

A settlement has been reached with the City of Los Angeles (the “City”), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (“LADWP”), and the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners (together, “Defendants”) in a class action lawsuit claiming LADWP has embedded in its power (electric) rates an 8% surcharge in order to fund transfers to the City’s Reserve Fund. The Plaintiffs claim that the 8% surcharge is a tax that has not been approved by the electorate, and thus violates California Constitution article XIII-C, section 2, subdivision (b) and/or (d), and Government Code sections 53722 and/or 53723. Defendants deny the allegations, and the Court has not decided who is right. Instead, the parties agreed to a settlement to avoid the expense and risk of continued litigation.

Who is included? LADWP’s records indicate you are included in the settlement as a Settlement Class Member. You are a Settlement Class Member if you, between January 29, 2012 and September 14, 2017, held a retail customer account with LADWP in which there was a charge for electricity.

What can you get? The City has agreed to create a Settlement Fund, which is currently estimated to be Fifty-Two Million Dollars ($52,000,000). After administrative expenses, attorney’s fees and expenses of up to 29% of the Settlement Fund, service awards in the amount of $5,000 to each of the four Class Representatives, and a $650,000 payment to non-profit charitable organization(s) are paid from the Settlement Fund, the balance will be distributed as a per kilowatt-hour credit to the electric rates of LADWP retail electricity customers. The City and LADWP have also agreed to deduct 8% from the amounts otherwise charged to LADWP retail electricity customers pursuant to its 2016 Electric Rate Ordinance and will no longer transfer any funds LADWP collects through the 2016 Electric Rate Ordinance to the City. Please see the Detailed Notice and/or the Settlement Agreement available on the "Case Documents" section of this website.

Your options. If you do nothing, you are staying in the Settlement, your rights will be affected, and, if you are a LADWP retail electricity customer during the first billing period after the Settlement is finally approved by the Court, you will receive the benefits described above. If you do not want to be legally bound by the Settlement, you must exclude yourself from it by December 27, 2017. Unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to sue or continue to sue Defendants for any legal claim resolved by this Settlement and released by the Settlement Agreement. If you do not exclude yourself, you may object. Objections are due December 27, 2017

The Court’s hearing. The Court will hold a hearing in this case (Eck v. The City of Los Angeles, No. BC577028) at 9:00 a.m. on February 14, 2018 at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central Civil West Courthouse, 600 South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, California 90005. At this hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve: the Settlement; Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses; and service awards to the Class Representatives. You or your lawyer may appear at the hearing at your own expense.

Click here to read the Notice




Last Day To Exclude Yourself From the Settlement (“Opt-Out”)

December 27, 2017

Last Day To Object to the Settlement

December 27, 2017

Fairness Hearing

February 14, 2018 at 9:00 A.M.