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Supreme Court denies review of Bright Side, Consumers Energy lawsuit

January 12, 2012
By ABIGAIL PELZER - Managing Editor ( , Times-Republican

The Iowa Supreme Court on Tuesday denied review of a multi-million lawsuit involving Consumers Energy and Bright Side Lighting, completely exonerating Consumers Energy in the three-year legal dispute.

The action stems from a 2008 lawsuit against Consumers Energy, and its former CEO Brian Heithoff, alleging that he and the electric cooperative conspired to cheat Paul Greene and his company, Bright Side Lighting, out of money.

A civil trial ended with a Marshall County jury awarding Greene and Bright Side Lighting approximately $7.1 million, with Heithoff being personally responsible for approximately $4.75 million of that total. The findings of the jury were later completely overturned by a Marshall County District Court in January 2010. The Iowa Court of Appeals in November 2011 affirmed the ruling to overturn the findings.

Heithoff was fired from Consumers Energy in April following a decision by its board. He had served as CEO of Consumers Energy since September 1999.

Consumers Energy issued a press release detailing a timeline of the case, however declined further comment.

Attorney Darrell Meyer, who represents both Bright Side Lighting and Greene, did not return a call by press time.



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