A group of plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit this week that may lead to more than $400 million in refunds to current and past Lafayette Utility Systems customers.

Our news partner, KATC, reported the suit alleges LCG's General Fund has been getting an annual boost--the latest amounting to about $22 million--from an in-lieu-of-tax payment that LUS pays LCG.

The plaintiffs claim the in-lieu-of-tax payments are garnered from an unconstitutional fee on each LUS bill that reaches above and beyond the fair cost of utilities.

The suit was filed by the Opelousas law firm Morrow, Morrow, Ryan and Bassett, which has a history of filing class-action suits.

With the Consolidated Government's current financial woes, the $400 million in refunds that the plaintiffs are asking, would prove to be a fiscal catastrophe. The amount being sought is four times the amount of the city's general fund budget.