The family of a young boy who died after freezing to death in a mobile home is suing electricity companies in Texas for gross negligence.
Cristian Pavon Pineda was 11 years old when he died after temperatures dropped to freezing levels in Texas, and residents were left without power.
He was found dead after he was unable to keep warm in bed. The little boy was discovered next to his younger brother, who survived the freezing temperatures.
Cristian Pineda’s family are now suing ERCOT — a power grid operator in the state — and Entergy, who were responsible for providing power to the family.
The lawsuit holds the two companies fully responsible for Cristian’s death. The devastated family is suing for a total of $100 million.
As the only state with an independent power grid, Texas’ ability to deal with extreme conditions is limited.
While Texas residents can avoid regulations at a federal level due to their independent power grid, it also means that access to emergency power is very limited.
Extreme weather and other circumstances mean that residents can be left without access to vital resources.
The Pineda family claims that the energy providers failed to give proper advice to their customers and did not warn them about the dangers which could result from the conditions.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued a statement about the lawsuit that read: “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. However, because approximately 46% 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.”
ERCOT CEO Bill Magness stated: “I certainly could have done a better job emphasizing what was coming and had that communication with the board in more depth as well. So I understand your frustration.”
The devasted family launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to send Cristian’s body back to Honduras for a proper funeral.
More than thirty people lost their lives across Texas because of the cold temperatures, and 4.5 million people had no power.
President Joe Biden who visited the region said he is “eager” to help the situation, and he has been doing just that.
A major disaster in Texas has been declared by President Biden, and funding has been made available to residents.
This will include temporary accommodation, loans to cover property losses, and funds to cover repair costs.