David Yates Feb. 15, 2013, 2:47pm

A lawsuit against Entergy Texas alleging fraudulent billing practices has been abated while a similar case makes it way through an appeals court.

As previously reported, the cities of Port Arthur, Conroe and Huntsville filed lawsuits against Entergy on April 4 in Jefferson County District.

Court records show that on Nov. 20 Huntsville filed a motion to abate, stating that a similar case is pending before the First Court of Appeals and could have bearing on its case.

The motion asks the court to abate the case until justices reach an opinion on the appeal, which centers on a trial court granting a plea to the jurisdiction.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, granted the motion on Nov. 29.

Court records show that on May 14 Entergy answered the suits, denying “that it committed any unethical or fraudulent billing practices.”

All of the suits allege that the city entered into a contract with Entergy to provide electrical services.

Following an audit, the plaintiffs allege they discovered Entergy was engaged in fraudulent billing practices, including charging for lights that did not exist, maintenance that did not occur and general billing for higher wattages and rates than what was suppose to be charged.

All of the cities are accusing Entergy of negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

The cities are seeking an award of exemplary and economic damages, plus attorney’s fees.

Provost Umphrey attorney Edward Fisher of Beaumont represents all the plaintiffs.

Entergy is represented in part by Germer Gertz attorney Larry Simmons.

Case Nos. A192-267, D192-268 and E192-269

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