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City Attorney Settles Major Recycling Case Benefitting Oakland Ratepayers

The settlement requires that CWS refund Oakland ratepayers for those years of overcharging and lower their rates for recycling services going forward. The settlement will make Oakland ratepayers whole, remedying the harm they suffered for years because of CWS’ overcharging practices.

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CWS trash-collecting truck. Photo courtesy of California Waste Solutions website.
CWS trash-collecting truck. Photo courtesy of California Waste Solutions website.

By Post Staff

The Oakland City Council this week approved settlement of the city’s lawsuit against California Waste Solutions, Inc. (CWS) after years of litigation to recover for Oakland ratepayers approximately $6 million in overcharges for bringing recycling bins at multi-family dwellings out to the curb (“Push/pull Fees”).

“Unjust and unfair dealing is unacceptable and will not stand,” City Attorney Barbara J. Parker said.

The settlement requires that CWS refund Oakland ratepayers for those years of overcharging and lower their rates for recycling services going forward. The settlement will make Oakland ratepayers whole, remedying the harm they suffered for years because of CWS’ overcharging practices.

The city filed this lawsuit nearly five years ago regarding CWS’ recycling contract with Oakland. CWS set a Push/pull Fee for providing recycling services to multi-family dwellings that far exceeded the fee for the same service to single-family dwellings.

Despite the city’s best efforts to negotiate in good faith with CWS to resolve the issue without litigation, those efforts did not bear fruit. To protect Oakland residents from CWS’ overcharging practices, including charges up to 550% of what their contract allowed, the city sued CWS in 2017.

Only through the course of the litigation did the city learn that CWS had overcharged Oakland ratepayers for services related to bringing recycling bins out to the curb by a total of approximately $6 million.

Under the terms of the settlement, CWS must repay those customers who were overcharged in a timely fashion.

Oakland ratepayers who were overcharged will be notified in the coming months of their eligibility for a refund and will be provided information about the process for receiving their refund.

In addition, under the terms of the settlement, CWS will lower its rates, so they are in line with the rates charged by other companies — and in line with rates CWS itself charges in other municipalities.

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Business

Newsom Admin Takes Steps to Stabilize California’s Troubled Insurance Market

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

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By California Black Media

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

Newsom said the proposal speeds up approvals for rate increases and addresses rising costs resulting from incidents like wildfires. Newsom said, under his plan, the Department of Insurance will be required to decide and respond to rate increase requests within 120 days. The plan also calls for streamlining the process for filing for increases; builds in two 330-deay extensions for finalizing rate changes; and provides room for insurers to appeal decisions.

“We need to stabilize this market,” Newsom said. “We need to send the right signals.

Proponents, mainly insurance industry representatives like the Personal Insurance Federation of California, are praising the Governor’s actions while consumer advocates warn that the plan is a threat to public intervention rights California’s Prop 103, a 1988 state law adopted to protect state residents from “arbitrary insurance rates and practices.”

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara thanked Newsom for backing his office’s plan.

“To safeguard the integrity of the insurance market – composed of consumers, homeowners, and business owners – we must fix a system suffering from decades of deferral and delay,” said Lara in a statement. “This measure is one of several parts of a comprehensive plan to enact long-overdue regulatory reforms. The Legislature can do its part to support my reforms by giving this proposal a fair and full consideration, including public input. By enacting this important part of our strategy in statute, the Legislature can help us meet the urgency of the moment.

Lara is working on a longer-term strategy to shore up the insurance market that is expected to be released in December.

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Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

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New Car Reviews and Important Auto News

Get reviews of the latest new press cars driven and we update you on the most recent auto news of interest. Join our panel of auto influencers.
The post New Car Reviews and Important Auto News first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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