Neptun Light, Inc. Files Suit Against City of Chicago and Ameresco

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – On November 17, 2017, Neptun Light, Inc. filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the City of Chicago (“City”), the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (“CIT”), and Ameresco, Inc. (collectively the “Defendants”).  Neptun alleges violation of federal antitrust laws in connection with the the Chicago Smart Lighting Project (“Project”).  

According to Neptun, the Defendants entered into an unlawful agreement to circumvent the open and free bidding process for Project subcontractors.  After proposals for the Project were due, the City and the CIT relaxed the Project’s requirements for the proposed lighting products (referred to as “luminaires”) and the Defendants proceeded to hold a purportedly open and free competition to select luminaire manufacturers.  Neptun alleges that rather than an actual open and free competition, as required by Illinois law, the purported competition was a pretext for allowing the Defendants to include GE Lighting as a luminaire manufacturer.  The City had decided to include GE Lighting before any proposals had been submitted, even though GE Lighting’s luminaires did not meet the initial Project requirements and were demonstrably inferior to Neptun’s—one of the other participants in the purported open and free competition.

Neptun alleges that the City’s desire to include GE Lighting as a contractor can be evidenced by the City’s initial demonstration of luminaires for the Project.  Before the due date for Project proposals, the City and the CIT had installed GE Lighting’s luminaires in several Chicago neighborhoods as an initial demonstration.  The Request for Proposals for the Project, however, mandated that luminaires from all proposers would be installed as part of an initial demonstration.  According to Neptun, the fact that the City and the CIT had decided, in advance of any proposals or bidding, to install only GE Lighting’s luminaires in the initial demonstration shows that the decision to select GE Lighting was actually made well in advance of the bidding competition.

“It is time that a company like Neptun that has developed superior technology, which will benefit Chicago residents, be recognized by the City of Chicago, the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, and Ameresco,” said Andrew Bobel, Neptun’s founder and CEO.  

Neptun seeks antitrust damages to be trebled and also seeks a judgment that the contract for the Project, signed by the City and Ameresco is null and void.  The case is called Neptun Light, Inc. v. City of Chicago et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-08343 (N.D. Ill.).  Neptun is represented by Sudip Kundu of Kundu PLLC and Douglas E. Whitney of Douglas Whitney Law Offices.

About Neptun Light

Neptun Light is a leader in the manufacture of energy efficient retrofit products and light fixtures in the fields of LED, Induction, and Solar technology. We boast a highly diversified product portfolio of indoor and outdoor products. Additionally, our products span a wide range of commercial, industrial, government, and utility infrastructure applications. Neptun Light achieves its level of success through timely development of new technology that caters to a constantly evolving marketplace. Among Neptun Light's core values are continuous innovation, high quality products, a focus on energy conservation, and an uncompromised commitment to customer service. For more information call tollfree 888-735-8330 or visit www.neptunlight.com.