The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has revoked Griddy Energy’s ability to operate for allegedly missing payments to ERCOT. Customers who received electricity from Griddy have now been switched to other providers without having any say. At the same time that ERCOT has removed Griddy’s ability to operate, it oversaw a powergrid which failed to provide for the needs of most Texans. The cost of a megawatt of electricity rose from $35 to $9,000 during the heart of the storm.
According to a press release from Griddy, on February 16, 2021, the company requested emergency help from ERCOT related to the pricing of electricity and were ignored. There are numerous reports of Griddy customers who received electricity bills for thousands of dollars following the storm.
Texas was hit with a historic winter storm, but it was one that the state and its electric providers should have been prepared for. With the loss of electricity throughout Texas as a result of the failure of the state’s power grid, millions struggled with deadly temperatures.
The number of households without power was over 4 million on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The unfortunate reality is that the decision to plunge millions of homes into coldness has a side effect – people’s lives. As temperatures plunge to below freezing in some parts of the state, numerous people have died or been seriously injured as a result of the loss of power. Tragically, there is a report of a Fort Worth, Texas man having lost his life due to carbon monoxide poisoning following the loss of electricity. There was a tragic house fire in Sugar Land as a result of the loss of power during the Winter Storm that hit Texas this week, killing four. There was a tragic incident on February 16, 2021 at 8300 La Roche in southwest Houston, Texas, where two people died following carbon monoxide poisoning. Tragically, on February 17, 2021 a 60 year old male froze to death in his home in Abilene, Texas. New reports have also come out regarding high numbers of carbon monoxide poisonings in the state. Carrol Anderson died in Crosby, Texas last week following the loss of power at his home. A Houston grandmother died of hypothermia on February 16, 2021. In Fort Worth, one ambulance provider reported receiving over 75 calls related to hypothermia on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. On February 19, two men died in Garland, Texas due to carbon monoxide poisoning. There were believed to be 300 cases in Harris County, including at least two deaths. The Cy Fair Fire Department reports transporting at least 23 people due to carbon monoxide poisoning on February 16, 2021 alone. Harris County officials have confirmed at least 15 deaths in the County due to hypothermia. On February 23, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office announced it will investigate at least 17 deaths that occurred during the recent winter storm.
Ultimately, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (“ERCOT”) was in charge of making preparations to insure the safety of all the residents of the state. It was entirely foreseeable that conditions during this storm would worsen and that the electric grid would need to prepare for the increased use of power throughout the state. Whether through incompetence or a decision to simply ignore the risk, the state was left unprepared.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this storm and the dangerous decisions that were made both leading up to it and during the storm. Safe electric providers must take adequate precautions to prepare for weather of any kind. Whether it is a hurricane, a heat wave, or a winter storm, the state’s power providers must anticipate the conditions and prepare to provide adequate capacity for their customer’s needs. When this does not occur, people can die as a result.
Spagnoletti Law Firm has attorneys licensed in Texas, Florida, and New York. We have handled numerous cases involving complex litigation in both federal and state court across the country. Our attorneys have the skills needed to aggressively represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of the loss of electricity during the storm. Our lawyers also have experience in representing businesses who have experienced lost income or property damage, and will pursue those claims against all responsible parties.
The experienced attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was seriously injured or died as a result of the loss of power. Please call us to learn about your rights if you are one of the individuals who have suffered personal injury or death, economic loss, or damaged property as a result of the decisions made by private companies in cutting off electricity. We have already filed multiple lawsuits for those who suffered significant damages that were caused by the negligence of a third party during the storm. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.