Texas power companies Entergy Corporation and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) are facing a $100 million lawsuit. The wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the mother of Cristian Pineda, an 11-year-old who is suspected to have passed away as a result of hypothermia when the family lost heat and electricity in their mobile home during the cold snap.
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The failure of the power grid left over 4 million people without electricity and heat in their homes, as temperatures across the state of Texas plunged drastically. The lawsuit states that Entergy and ERCOT did not take any preemptory action despite knowing the dire weather forecast for nearly a week in advance.
Cristian passed away in his family’s mobile home in Conroe, a suburb in Houston, while he was sharing his bed with his younger brother. The lawsuit claims Cristian and his brother were under a pile of blankets, attempting to stay warm.
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing the Pineda family, said Cristian died as a result of corporate decisions.
As of February 21, over 30 people have reportedly passed away in Texas due to the severe weather conditions that the state witnessed. Many people passed away as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning since they used their cars or generators in an effort to keep themselves warm when there was no power.
Buzbee stated he is, in total, representing seven families who happened to lose their loved ones as a result of the power outage. He said the power companies will see more lawsuits.
Maria Pineda, the mother of the deceased, said Cristian was a healthy boy. While the family of the deceased contends that the child died as a result of hypothermia, the official cause of death hasn’t been determined yet, as per the Conroe Police Department. Maria said she found Cristian unresponsive and rang 911 while she was attempting CPR.
In the lawsuit, ERCOT was blamed for misleading people by giving them the assurance that the power outage was temporary, when, in fact, it lasted days.