Texas power companies Entergy Corporation and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) have been hit with a $100 million lawsuit in the death of an 11-year-old child who reportedly suffered hypothermia when his family’s home lost heat and electricity during the winter storms.
According to ABC News, Maria Pineda, mother of Cristian Pineda, filed the wrongful death suit in a local court alleging that the electric companies “put profits over the welfare of people.” The lawsuit says the companies ignored previous advice to winterize their power grid, which caused 4 million people to be without electricity during the winter storm.
“Despite having knowledge of the dire weather forecast for at least a week in advance, and the knowledge that the system was not prepared for more than a decade, ERCOT and Entergy failed to take any preemptory action that could have averted the crisis and were wholly unprepared to deal with the crisis at hand,” the lawsuit states.
Last Tuesday (Feb. 16), the young boy died in his family’s mobile home outside of Houston while sharing a bed with his 3-year-old brother. The boys were reportedly under a pile of blankets attempting to stay warm in their freezing home. The next day, Maria found her son unresponsive. She immediately called 911 and attempted to give him CPR. The family believes Pineda froze to death, but officials are waiting for the results of the autopsy report.
“This is a young man who died for no reason other than corporate decisions,” Tony Buzbee, who represents the Pineda family, told the outlet. “There are a lot of decisions that were made a long time ago that led to the death of this young man. That is unacceptable.”
“Cristian’s lawsuit is the first and his lawsuit should be the first,” he added. “This kid is going to change Texas and God bless him for that.”
As of Sunday (Feb. 21), over 30 people lost their lives last week due to the severe weather in Texas. Several people died from carbon monoxide poisoning after using their running cars to keep warm during the storm.