A Louisiana energy company is accused of discriminating against retired, older, disabled and lower-income residents by arbitrarily raising rates and fees in order to drive the residents out of New Orleans.

Milton Armstead filed suit against Entergy New Orleans on Feb. 22 in federal court in New Orleans.

Acting as his own attorney, Armstead accuses the defendant of discriminating against "descendants of slaves who are elderly, retired, disabled, living on fixed incomes by requiring such descendants to pay out equivalent costs and fees for energy as descendants of slave-owners who continue to profit from slave proceeds." Armstead argues that these actions are an effort to drive people out of New Orleans.

In an effort to afford the energy rates, Armstead states he has reduced his household size by half and significantly worked at reducing his family's energy consumption.

The defendant is accused of by-passing rate regulation settings by allowing consumers to level their bills throughout the year and by allowing the consumer to pick a date for the bill.

The disabled veteran states that if the defendant's behavior is not stopped, he fears he will become homeless and starve.

Entergy is accused of violating Armstead's civil rights and violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Armstead is asking the Court to issue an injunction prohibiting Entergy from any retaliatory action and for an award of damages.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00437

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