The Connecticut chapter of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) declared victory as three gas utilities settled a class action suit brought by Connecticut contractors. The utilities had been accused of harming the plumbing-heating-cooling industry by using unlicensed technicians to do residential service and installation work. The settlement includes a more than half-million dollar payment from the utilities to the contracting community and other non-financial provisions that promote customers’ use of independent contractors.
The suit was filed in November 1992 and sought damages under Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices law. PHCC of Connecticut contended that the utilities’ use of unlicensed personnel to do residential service and repair work constituted an unfair trade practice. Contractors asked the courts to require gas companies to reimburse the construction trades for losses sustained by the utilities’ unauthorized and illegal activities.