WINFIELD -- A Charleston construction company was underbilled for natural gas service during a Putnam County project, and the gas company has filed suit to get its money.

Union Oil and Gas Inc. filed the lawsuit against BBL Carlton on June 9 in Putnam Circuit Court.

The gas company claims BBL Carlton received natural gas service while constructing the National Guard Building in Eleanor from November 2003 to November 2004.

In the complaint, filed by attorney Courtlandt L. Smith, Union says Meter No. 4117502 was working properly, but the index was set to an improper setting.

As a result, the "defendant was billed for 10 cubic feet of gas per dial revolution when (it) should have been billed for 100 cubic feet per dial revolution."

The complaint goes on to say that, under legislative rules of the state Public Service Commission, "utilities are granted the ability to adjust customer bills when an investigation determines that the meter reading is incorrect."

Union says BBL Carlton was underbilled 4,569 mcfs during the project. Under the rates set by the PSC, that equals $43,252.38.

"Notwithstanding the Legislative power conferred upon the Public Service Commission to allow utilities to remedy for erroneous billing for the usage of gas, allowing the defendant to claim accord and satisfaction due to payment for only one tenth of their usage gives rise to an unjust enrichment contrary to Common Law and Statutory Law of the State of West Virginia," the complaint states.

Union seeks the $43,000 as well as pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and other relief.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Jude O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.

Putman Circuit Court case number: 06-C-191

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