/Jackson sues Siemens for $225M in ‘bait and switch’ over faulty water meters, billing system

Jackson sues Siemens for $225M in ‘bait and switch’ over faulty water meters, billing system

In 2012, Jackson signed a performance contract worth $91 million with Siemens Industry Inc. — making it one the most expensive projects in the country. According to the Jackson Free Press, Jackson was willing to pay approximately $1,000 per meter for equipment and installation in a deal that the Mississippi Development Authority approved. Recent projects in San Francisco, Baltimore, and San Francisco cost $285.71 per meter and $208 respectively. In a press conference on Tuesday, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba stated that the system is not working despite the high cost. “More than 10,000 water meters were improperly installed, and they don’t work as I see them today. It has also been a disaster to use the billing system provided to the city in the contract. Many residents have been paying exorbitant bills, while the city’s largest institutions customers have not received any bills at all.” Jacksonians are the ones who have suffered the most. Local news reports have reported stories about residents being charged thousands of dollars for water. As a result, the city has had difficulty balancing its water revenues. According to a 44-page complaint filed Tuesday in Hinds County Circuit Court, Jackson officials claim that Siemens scammed them. The “bait-and switch” was not a true performance contract. Siemens stated in a statement that an outside firm they hired reviewed and validated their work. The statement stated that Siemens had gone beyond its contractual obligations in order to address the complex problems faced by the city. “While Siemens has not yet reviewed this complaint, it is disappointed that the city has taken such action and will respond through appropriate legal channels.” This lawsuit stems from years of problems plaguing the project. These include the installation of defective meters, meters that measured water in cubic feet instead of gallons, and software issues. While the city claims it is losing $2million in revenue per month, it still has to pay $7million in annual debt payments towards the defective system. The city wants to recover more than $225 million including $90 million to Siemens and $7 million in annual debt payments toward the faulty system.