Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Energy Surcharges lead to Class Action Suit

Undisclosed Energy Surcharges--popular since the 2000-01 California crisis--have become the subject of a successful class action lawsuit between a California man and a Nevada Hotelier:

California residents may bring suit in their own state courts against Nevada casinos for false advertising and deceptive business practices.

That's according to the California Supreme Court, which issued the ruling today. Even though Nevada casinos might not have any properties in California, that state's courts have jurisdiction in such cases because Harrah's Entertainment advertises heavily in California.

...The decision stems from a 2002 class action suit filed by a Los Angeles area man against a group of Harrah's properties.

In 2001, Frank Snowney made a reservation at a Harrah's resort, which said the room would cost 50 dollars a night plus room tax. But when Snowney paid his bill it included a three dollar energy surcharge.

Snowney says Harrah's never disclosed the charge when he booked the room. In his complaint, Snowney accused Harrah's of deceptive business practices, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

Could the airlines--who regularly tack on fuel surcharges between $10 and $60 each way--be next?!?