Lawsuit Filed Following Loss of Electricity During Texas Winter Storm

by | Feb 27, 2021 | Civil litigation

Spagnoletti Law Firm recently filed suit on behalf of a Hidalgo County, Texas resident who sustained significant damages as a result of the loss of electricity during Winter Storm Uri.  The lawsuit brings claims against AEP Texas, Inc. and Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT).  Regarding the actions of ERCOT, the lawsuit alleges:

ERCOT manages roughly 90% of the Texas power grid. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 680+ generation units. Unfortunately for Plaintiff, and literally millions in the state of Texas, ERCOT failed to adequately assess the electricity needs of Texas’s residents. ERCOT’s forecast for the maximum electricity that would be consumed far under-estimated the reality. As a result, millions were plunged into darkness and cold as a result of a loss of electricity.

With no warning issued beforehand, Plaintiff’s electricity was cut off by the Defendants.  The Plaintiff planned and prepared for the winter storm that hit the State.  Unfortunately, Plaintiff could not know that ERCOT and AEP Texas would decide to cut-off her electricity with no end in sight and with no warning given beforehand.  Her mental condition was seriously impacted.  As a result of the loss of power, her life has been threatened.

Plaintiff has a medical history of severe asthma. Her condition requires the use of a nebulizer machine, which is electricity-powered medical device which turns liquid medicine into a fine mist for breathing. Plaintiff requires use of the nebulizer every four hours. Following a diagnosis of COVID-19, in January 2021 Plaintiff was hospitalized. She remained there for three weeks, and was discharged with an oxygen machine that she uses twenty four hours per day. Unfortunately, as a result of the power outages inflicted by the Defendants, Plaintiff was left without power, and was unable to use her nebulizer or her oxygen machine to breathe.

Plunged into a cold darkness, our client began to have difficulty breathing. She was without power and it was unknown how long it would be before it was restored. As she sat in her cold house, her condition quickly worsened. She was unable to use her necessary medical equipment, and began to worry. At the same time her asthma flared up, and her breathing worsened. As a result of the loss of electricity, Plaintiff suffered extreme anxiety and emotional distress from the situation, in not knowing how long she would be deprived of electrical power that was needed to run her breathing equipment.  She has brought claims of negligence and gross negligence against both companies.  The Plaintiff is represented by Spagnoletti Law Firm attorneys Frank Spagnoletti, Marcus Spagnoletti, and Eric Rhine.

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.  It goes without saying that any time a catastrophic weather event is headed to the state, the state’s electric providers should adequately prepare.  When this is not done people’s lives are threatened.  Every company and entity involved has a responsibility to the members of the public.

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, reports are that numerous people have died or been seriously injured as a result of the loss of power.

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 extensive experience in complex litigation.  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 this 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 to learn more about your legal rights.