CHICAGO (STMW) — ComEd said Thursday that it will file an appeal to the Illinois Commerce Commission to avoid having to reimburse customers for storm damage from two years ago, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

ComEd is responsible for reimbursing more than 34,000 customers who had to deal with power outages and service failures during the July 11, 2011, windstorm, the commission ruled yesterday. The storm was one of six severe storms in northern Illinois in June and July of that year that caused injuries, accidents and several flight delays.

The commission waived liability for ComEd for interruptions that happened during the five other storms in June and July of 2011 because they found the damage to be unpreventable. ComEd was held liable for the July 11 storm because more than 30,000 customers were without power for at least four hours.

The case, which began in August 2011, included ComEd’s own defense, as well as testimony against the company from the Citizens Utility Board and the attorney general. “We expected the ICC to set an important precedent for future situations like this,” said Natalie Bauer, a spokeswoman for the attorney general.

In an e-mail, the ComEd spokesman said he doesn’t know how long the appeal process will take and that claims will not be paid until the process is over.

He also said that ComEd would work with the ICC to update customers who are eligible to submit claims on what materials or documents they will have to submit, and what the timeline will be for accepting claims.

The company has 30 days to file a request for a re-hearing. The commission can then listen to ComEd’s case again and, if the appeal is rejected, ComEd can take the case to court.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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