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Water customers sue Cleveland Water Dept.

Posted: 5:09 PM, May 24, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-25 10:40:24-04

An estimated 200 homeowners have filed a massive lawsuit alleging the Cleveland Division of Water over billed them for decades to the tune of $4 million in overcharges and interest.

The Georgetown of the Highlands Condominium Association in Euclid said homeowners were being billed at a higher consumption rate similar to large industrial and commercial users instead of much lower residential rates.

Association President David Boylan said the dispute revolved around the water department's failure to recognize the units became condominiums 20 years ago and were no longer apartments.

As a result, homeowners were billed for total consumption for the entire complex instead of individual use in privately owned condominiums.

In addition, the homeowners association argued that even Cleveland ordinances regulating water billing specifically said "the amounts of water used by separate premises shall not be pooled or combined into one charge, but separate charges shall be computed for separate entities."

Boylan argued that both the gas and electric company billed homeowners individually while the Cleveland Division of Water sent huge, quarterly statements that were billed to the homeowners association at rates that far exceeded what homeowners were required to pay.

The lawsuit is currently filed in the Eighth District Court of Appeals after a lower court ruled in favor of the water department--that has declined comment.