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Massachusetts Utility Tariffs – What Types of Damages are Recoverable?

Tariffs are the written documents filed with and approved by regulatory agencies that contain the terms, conditions and rates applicable to customers utilizing the particular utility service. The two leading public utilities in Massachusetts are NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy and Massachusetts Electric Company and Nantucket Electric d/b/a National Grid.  Most tariffs also contain provisions addressing specific instances when a utility cannot be held liable for negligent conduct or wrongful conduct. These are often referred to as “limitations of liability” clauses.

A distinction is made as to whether the customer is a residential customer or non-residential customer.  For residential customers, there is no limitations in the type of damages compensable where there is a finding of negligence.  On the other hand, for non-residential customers, there are limitations of damages which includes “consequential damages whatsoever including, but not limited to, loss of profits or revenue, loss of use of equipment, cost of capital, cost of temporary equipment, overtime, business interruption, spoilage of goods, claims of Customers of the Customer or other economic harm.”