Lawsuits Filed Over Texas Freeze
As news reports of deaths and wide-spread damage from power outages around the State of Texas have continued to roll in, lawsuits have been filed against ERCOT and individual power companies for failing to adequately warn customers of anticipated extended power outages. These lawsuits began with a family’s lawsuit over the freezing death of their 11-year-old child and have culminated in a class-action lawsuit being filed in Harris County over the bursting pipes.
Failure to Warn Freeze Claims
Lawsuits for ERCOT and other private companies’ failure to warn stem from the “warnings” given that people should expect rolling blackouts. These claims allege that the defendants knew or should have known that the power was likely to be shut off and/or unable to turn on for longer periods that could result in exposure to extreme cold for a long enough time period to cause hypothermia, serious injury and/or death. Had homeowners been made aware that the shut-offs and outages would run for hours and even days, they could have prepared better for the serious risk they were facing.
Types of Damage Caused By the Power Outages
There is a broad range of damages alleged by the plaintiffs’ in the Texas freeze death and damage claims. These damages include:
- claims for personal injury and death due to hypothermia
- claims for injury or death caused by lack of electricity needed to operate required medical devices and life support systems for extended periods longer than anticipated
- claims for repair costs of water damage to homes for frozen pipes
- claims for water damage to property due to bursting pipes
- claims for damage to swimming pools, hot tubs, and equipment due to frozen pipes caused by lack of electricity to operate freeze protection devices.
Who May Be Liable for Texas Freeze Claims?
The lawsuits, class-action, and individual claims being filed over the Texas freeze include a number of potentially liable parties. In addition o ERCOT, the list of potential defendants includes every private energy company that had reason to know that the power was likely to be out an extended time and took no action to warn their customers. Additionally, claims may be available against a number of homeowners insurance policies and commercial liability insurance policies. Your rights may depend upon who your energy provider and/or property insurers are. If you would like to review your rights with a Texas freeze claim attorney, call us at 1-800-298-0111 for a free consultation.