The family of an 11-year-old boy, who according to her report died of cold in a suburb of Houston, is demanding compensation of $ 100 million from US energy companies. He accuses them, inter alia, of “putting profits over people’s welfare”. The companies issued a statement on this matter.
Texas is one of the US states whose inhabitants have been particularly hard hit by snowstorms and low temperatures. They were left without heating, electricity and drinking water.
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ABC News recalls that the failure that took place last week left over four million people of companies without electricity. The temperature in some parts of the state has dropped to about 15-17 degrees Celsius below zero. More than 30 people died in Texas last week. Some from carbon monoxide poisoning because they used cars or generators for heating.
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The family files a lawsuit
11-year-old Cristian Pineda passed away on Tuesday at his family’s mobile home in Conroe, a suburb of Houston. His mother, Maria, suspects that the cause of death was hypothermia. However, the official cause of death will be given after the autopsy. ABC News notes that the sixth year immigrant came to the US two years ago with his family. According to his mother, he was healthy and played in the snow for the first time in his life the day before he died.
Cristian’s family filed a lawsuit against energy suppliers ERCOT and Entergy Corporation in the Jefferson County District Court. He accuses companies of gross negligence and “putting profits over people’s welfare” and ignoring previous recommendations to prepare for the coming winter. The family is seeking $ 100 million in damages.
“Although the weather forecast was known at least a week in advance, and it was known that the system had been unprepared for over a decade, ERCOT and Entergy did not take any action that could warn of a crisis for which they were completely unprepared,” the lawsuit said. It accuses “those most exposed to the cold” of power outages.
“There have been reports showing empty office buildings in downtown Houston that had power, but the mobile home park was left without power,” it wrote.
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“This is unacceptable”
On Sunday, family lawyer Tony Buzbee in an interview with ABC News said of Cristian that he “is a young man who died for no other reason other than corporate decisions.” “This is unacceptable,” he added.
Cristian’s lawsuit is the first and should be the first. (…) This kid will change Texas and God bless him for it – said the lawyer.
Energy suppliers’ statements
ABC quoted Entergy, which supplies electricity to residents of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community. We cannot comment on this due to the ongoing legal proceedings,” it said.
ERCOT, which manages the electricity network for over 25 million customers, has also issued a similar statement. He also argued that network operators, when switching off the electricity, made the right choice “to avoid state-wide failures.”
Main photo source: Ralph Lauer/EPA/PAP
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