- Associated Press - Friday, October 12, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge will decide a $1 billion-plus lawsuit by the state of Mississippi against its largest private electrical utility.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled Thursday that he won’t seat an advisory jury in the bench trial involving Entergy Corp., scheduled to begin Nov. 5.

Attorney General Jim Hood had previously conceded to New Orleans-based Entergy’s argument that the case shouldn’t be decided by a jury. But Reeves had raised the possibility of an advisory jury, an unusual procedure where jurors would recommend findings to Reeves, but the judge would still make the ultimate decision.

Hood says Entergy overcharged Mississippi customers up to $1.1 billion between 1998 and 2009, arguing the company had a duty to use less expensive power for customers.

Entergy denies wrongdoing.

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