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JACKSON, Miss. — A trial has been delayed in a $1 billion-plus lawsuit by the state of Mississippi against its largest private electrical utility.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves last week postponed the trial, which had been set to begin Monday, until April.

Attorney General Jim Hood is suing Entergy Mississippi, claiming the company deliberately sold overpriced power to customers from 1998 to 2009. The suit argues the unit of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. had a duty to use less expensive power for customers.

The parties say Reeves said he had to attend to criminal cases, which get higher priority in federal courts. The case was filed in 2008.

Hood says Entergy owes more than $1 billion in damages, and aims to force refunds to Entergy's 447,000 western Mississippi customers. Entergy denies wrongdoing.

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