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City sues Calico Energy for breach of contract

A city in another state was seeking an easier way for residents to monitor their usage of energy when it entered into a contract with Calico Energy, Inc. Over three years later, the city is still awaiting the ePortal website that was outlined in their contract. In the meantime, the city is pursuing a breach of contract lawsuit claiming that the company is unable to provide what it promised. A breach of contract may be frustrating for California residents, but there are options for pursuing legal recourse in the event of such an occurrence.

In late 2010, Calico agreed to produce a website for a recently rolled-out smart grid for the city's electric program. The website was intended to allow residents of the city to monitor how much electricity they were using and to choose optimal electric rates. After the seven-month deadline drew near, Calico requested that an extension be granted as there was a significant design flaw in their software.

The city claims that despite various software patches that Calico issued in order to fix the design flaws, the website was still non-functional. Calico then asked to be able to release what they called a "read-only" website that, while not completely functional, would be available for public access in mid-2013. Allegedly, even the simplified website did not function as intended.

The city of Naperville, Illinois is pursuing $779,550, including damages, in a lawsuit filed against Calico earlier this year. A breach of contract can have significant ill-effects on parties involved in a contract. In this case, the city of Naperville has lost money on a website that was never delivered, and its citizens are unable to access the smart grid program. California residents facing a similar breach of contract should note that if the other party fails to meet the agreements outlined in a legal contract, they may file a lawsuit on the basis of breach of contract, and in some cases may be entitled to financial restitution.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Naperville sues company over smart grid website, Joseph Ruzich, Feb. 4, 2014

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