$100M lawsuit alleges negligence by power company, grid operator led to Texas boy's death during winter storm
The family of an 11-year-old boy who died in the freezing Texas weather last week has filed a lawsuit against the state's grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and power company Entergy, alleging that gross negligence led to the child’s death.
Local Houston news station KHOU reports that the family of Christian Pavon has filed a lawsuit and is represented by attorney Tony Buzbee.
Pavon is believed to have died on Tuesday due to hypothermia after his family’s home lost power. His official cause of death has yet to be released, KHOU reports.
According to the suit filed by Pavon’s family, the cause of death was hypothermia, KHOU reports. His family is asking for more than $100 million in damages.
Entergy, in response to the lawsuit, said the company was “deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community. We are unable to comment due to pending litigation.”
“We haven't yet reviewed the lawsuits and will respond accordingly once we do. Our thoughts are with all Texans who ‘have and are’ suffering due to this past week,” ERCOT said in its own statement. “However, because approximately 46 percent of privately-owned generation tripped offline this past Monday morning, we are confident that our grid operators made the right choice to avoid a statewide blackout.”
Dozens of Texans died when freezing temperatures swept across the state last week, and more than 4 million people lost power, many for several days. Power to most homes has been restored, but several thousand remain without electricity.
The state's leaders and ERCOT are facing intense criticism over the outages. Texas's power infrastructure lacked the winterization needed to handle freezing temperatures. In addition, Texas is the only state to maintain an independent power grid, meaning it couldn't turn to its neighbors to temper the blackouts.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has called for an investigation into ERCOT.