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Law Firm Declines to File Suit for Paducah Power System

Paducah Power System

The law firm investigating whether to file suit against Prairie State and Peabody Energy on behalf of Paducah Power System has decided to discontinue legal action.  

Paducah lawyer Mark Bryant sent a letter to PPS General Manager Gary Zheng Thursday afternoon explaining the decision.  

Bryant and his team began investigating PPS’s 2004 energy purchase deal with Prairie State Energy Campus in southern Illinois last year. When the producer under-performed, electricity rates skyrocketed for many Paducah customers.

Bryant says his legal team reviewed thousands of documents but ultimately found no malfeasance in the deal. But he says if any were to be found, the statute of limitations for a lawsuit ran out in 2009. 

“I’m telling you, we looked at over a hundred thousand documents and had lawyers all across the country involved in this," said Bryant. "And every single one agreed that even if we had something, we were gonna lose because nobody ever complained about it during the time when complaints should have been made.” 

He says that without a solid case, the best decision would be to discontinue. 

“So just to file a lawsuit for the sake of filing a lawsuit is a foolish thing to do, it’s a frivolous lawsuit and there are laws against that," said Bryant. "They dismiss those types of cases, and this case would have been dismissed had we ever found one. So there was no reason to file one because of the statute of limitations ran years ago.” 

Bryant says PPS was very helpful in turning over the records and documents stemming back to the deal. 

"But if they had come to me in 2005, 06, 07 or even the beginning of 2009 with the same kind of stuff, it might have been a totally different ballgame," said Bryant. "It wasn't an issue back then, it only became an issue when the power rates went up enormously and everybody started complaining about it. The people of Paducah are just so upset and rightfully so with how high the rates are. Long-term, I don't think it bodes well for the community." 

He says if a lawsuit was filed against Prairie State, it wouldn't mirror the one filed by rate payers in Batavia, Illinois last year where the plaintiffs were the rate payers themselves. He says Kentucky law does not permit rate payers to directly sue for fraud. 

Bryant says no further legal action will be taken, and that it’s now up to the PPS board to alleviate the high rates through their Rate Recovery Plan started earlier this year.

PPS has not yet made a statement on the decision. 

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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