Two Rowland Heights women sued Southern California Edison Wednesday for cutting off their electricity over their refusal to pay a nearly $140,000 bill that they allege was generated by a tenant growing marijuana in a home the family owned and leased in Corona.
Shu Chih Sun and her daughter-in-law, Mitha Pratiwi, are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages on allegations of breach of service agreement and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
They also sought -- but were denied -- a temporary restraining order that would have directed Edison to return power to the home. But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O'Brien set a March 12 hearing on the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, according to attorney Michael Lo, who is representing the two women.
"Hopefully the court will see it our way," Lo said.
An Edison representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The two women live in Rowland Heights with Pratiwi's husband and the couple's 5-month-old daughter, Lo said. The Trot Avenue house is currently being served by a generator that provides enough power for lights, but not for heating and refrigeration, according to Lo.
"It's kind of depressing," Lo said.
According to the complaint, Pratiwi's husband signed an agreement with tenant Dominic Do to lease the couple's home in Corona from February 2009 until October 2011. Do stayed on a month-to-month basis after the lease expired and was arrested for illegally growing marijuana there last March, the suit alleges.
Although the Edison service at the Corona property was under Pratiwi's name, Do was required to pay the bills, according to the suit. Last April 11, Pratiwi received a bill from Edison for $138,577 for "unauthorized use of service from March 21, 2010, to March 20, 2013," according to the plaintiffs.
Pratiwi and her husband cooperated with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and her spouse identified Do from a photo lineup, according to the suit. An investigation found that Do, who was using the name Raymond Lam, grew marijuana on the Corona property by bypassing the Edison meter, the suit alleges.
In November, Pratiwi received a demand for payment from Edison under threat of a disconnection of electricity. Sun received a similar notice in January, according to the suit, which says the electricity was turned off on Feb. 6.
– City News Service.