Florida Public Service Commission to the Disabled – Get a Lawyer and Sue Us!

As reported here earlier, the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) has rejected all arguments of health, safety and privacy in our protest of the Florida Power & Light (FP&L) smart meter and FP&Ls Non-Standard Meter extortion fees. The FPSC has determined that they will only allow costs issues to go forward into the hearings set for September. In our Petition for Reconsideration, we requested that they at least consider medical exemptions to be heard as a term and condition of the tariff.

Specifically we wrote:

Petitioners also believe the Commission overlooked the evidence provided through public comments received in this case, as well as some of the Martin Petitioners claims, which cite doctors advice to avoid RF radiation. The Petitioners believe adequate evidence exists in this case, which was overlooked by the Commission, to require a determination as to whether medical exemptions due to existing medical conditions or medical implants, should be required. Considering special provisions for medical reasons is not outside the scope of this proceeding. The Petitioners note that such considerations have been addressed in the past with matters such as collection tariffs where customers utilizing certain medical equipment are afforded special provisions.

In addition Petitioners ask the Commission to reconsider the American With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) dispute raised, which was not addressed. By the nature of utilizing a postpone list FP&L effectually granted an accommodation to those requesting the meter not be installed or be removed under the ADA laws. By the Commission approving this tariff which requires a penalty charge for refusal of the smart meter, without any consideration for medical exemptions, the approved tariff violates the ADA rights of the disabled to that accommodation, without charge and without retaliation or coercion.

Yesterday, the Florida Public Service Commission Staff submitted their recommendation to the Commission on the Petition’s for Reconsideration.  Regarding those disabled or with notes from doctors to avoid wireless and RF radiation they state:

With regard to ADA compliance terms and conditions, customers of FPL who believe that the terms and conditions of the NSMR tariff violate their ADA rights are able to sue in federal district court for both exemption from the tariff and recovery of any monetary damages incurred as a result of the violations of the ADA. Neither the Commission nor any other state agency is the proper forum for the relief that the Protestors appear to be seeking.

It is simply amazing that the staff of the Public Service Commission would write this stuff. Many FP&L customers are legally disabled with multiple conditions and have doctor’s notes stating to avoid wireless and they tell them to go sue! Problem is – when you are disabled, you are usually poor. They know this. Perhaps there is an attorney out there with some compassion that would be willing to take this on.

Notice they avoid the doctors note and medical exemption argument altogether. That is how they operate. They ignore things that they don’t have an answer for.

The Commission rules on this issue on May 9th in their Agenda Conference. If you have some compassion for others, tell them what you think. Do you agree? Can the Commission have authority to mandate a product and then not allow a medical exemption for those whose doctors tell them to avoid that product? You can voice your opinion with the Commission at  http://www.floridapsc.com/consumers/complaints/index2.aspx.

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