Clay electric has a long history of using its reputation as a major supplier of electric-vehicle batteries to help people in its community, but recently a lawsuit filed by the utility alleges that it did not do enough to protect its customers from theft and vandalism.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nashville, accuses Clay of failing to properly supervise the storage of battery batteries on the company’s property in Shelby County, Tennessee.
The battery theft claims come just days after the Tennessee Utilities Commission voted to require that companies like Clay use “secure and tamper-proof” storage of batteries at their facilities.
The commission voted in favor of the regulation, which was approved by the Tennessee legislature last year.
The new rule was meant to curb battery thefts by requiring companies to store their battery batteries in a “secure, tamper resistant” facility.
“The conduct at Clay is a clear violation of the law, and I’m hopeful this matter will be resolved expeditiously,” Clay CEO Mike Schadler told Business Insider in a statement on Monday.
“I believe that Clay is doing the right thing by their customers, employees, and community, and hope to see this matter resolved in a way that protects both our employees and our customers.”
The complaint, which is seeking unspecified damages, was filed by a coalition of local civil rights groups, as well as the Tennessee-based nonprofit group the Tennessean.
The Tennesseans lawsuit, which accuses Clay and the Tennessee utilities commission of failing “to adequately monitor the storage and storage of cell phones, cell phone chargers, chargers for other vehicles, and other cell phone components, and to provide for the safety of its customers, and for its employees, is based upon the fact that the battery battery in question was stolen in October 2017 and the defendant, Clay, has failed to make any reasonable efforts to secure or secure its stored battery cell phone batteries in accordance with state and federal law,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the Tennessee law enforcement department, the battery theft occurred after a local resident stole a battery from Clay’s storage facility.
The victim of the theft told police that Clay “was not forthcoming with the details of the incident, and had not been forthcoming with information about how Clay stored its battery cell phones,” the lawsuit alleges.
The victim of battery theft filed a civil rights complaint against Clay in February 2017, and a criminal complaint against the Tennessee utility commission in March.
The Tennessee government is currently considering the complaint, but the Tenneses attorney general has said the state will not seek any punitive damages from the utility.