Notice of Claim filed with Long Island Power AuthorityNov 20, 2012
Long Island Power Authority recently received a Notice of Claim filed by three prominent law firms in the Long Island and Manhattan areas on behalf of potentially tens of thousands of businesses and individuals affected by the power company's negligence surrounding the events of Superstorm Sandy.
According to a press release from the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, that firm is working alongside attorney Kenneth Mollins and the Manhattan law firm of Douglas & London in filing a formal Notice of Claim against LIPA and its contractor, National Grid, at the power company’s home office in Nassau County, N.Y.
The serving a Notice of Claim is required by law because LIPA is a public utility. The notice tells LIPA and National Grid that the firms plan to pursue claims the companies were negligent in their preparations and reactions to Superstorm Sandy. The Notice of Claim gives the power company and National Grid the opportunity to offer settlements to affected businesses and individuals and avoid costly litigation.
Last week, Mollins filed a class-action lawsuit against LIPA and National Grid. The lawsuit sought to cover any business that was or continues to be affected by the storm, namely regarding the impact of the loss of electricity. The claims allege that LIPA did little to protect Long Island's electrical grid prior to the crippling storm and that has compounded problems these businesses and individuals face in the weeks following the storm.
Mollins turned to the services of Parker Waichman LLP, a leading national law firm in aiding those who’ve been adversely affected by natural disasters. Douglas & London also joined this effort. Together, they represent a high-powered team of attorneys able to represent affected businesses in the Long Island and greater New York area.
It’s been more than two weeks since the area was affected by Sandy and for some, power has still not been restored. These and other businesses believe LIPA was negligent in its poor planning prior to the Sandy’s landfall and just as careless in the days and weeks following it. This has allowed damages to multiply as each day out-of-business for some puts them one day closer to having to shut their businesses forever.
According to the release from Parker Waichman, “Having already filed a Class Action lawsuit on behalf of individual homeowners affected by the loss of power caused by LIPA’s failure to prepare for Sandy, these firms have now moved aggressively to proceed on behalf of Long Island’s business owners who suffered substantial economic losses while under LIPA’s care.”
Anywhere between 650,000 and 1 million Long Island residents may qualify to join the class-action lawsuit originally filed by Mollins. Damage estimates just for these businesses is likely to reach into the tens of millions of dollars. As many as one-quarter of all businesses close for good following a natural disaster simply because they're unable to recover after suffering catastrophic damages.
LIPA and National Grid's negligence could compound those figures drastically if business owners are not able to hold the power authority accountable for their inaction.