Recovering Compensation for Financial Losses, Personal Injury, Business Interruption, and the Wrongful Death of a Loved One Due to the ERCOT Power Loss in Texas.
Unprecedented low temperatures in 2021 have North Texas businesses and families struggling to survive the brutal cold without electricity. Millions of Texans have experienced lengthy power outages lasting several days, and this has them asking: “Who is responsible for these power outages?”
Parker Waichman LLP is an award-winning national law firm that has recovered over $2 billion in compensation for individuals and businesses harmed by gross negligence.
Parker Waichman is now offering free consultations and is currently representing claimants who suffered injuries, lost loved ones, and businesses who suffered business interruption losses due to the ERCOT power grid blackouts. These lawsuits seek to recover monetary compensation on behalf of those who suffered harm due to the possible gross negligence and willful misconduct of ERCOT.
The process of recovering financial compensation begins by speaking with Parker Waichman attorney to discuss your legal rights and potential case. Our caring team is ready to listen to you. Call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a discussion about your situation. This consultation is free and there is no obligation.
Who or What is ERCOT?
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) controls 90% of the Texas electrical grid. Although Texas does not usually receive several days of freezing temperatures each year, it is obvious that Texas’s power infrastructure has not been maintained and ERCOT has not kept up with weather patterns and climate change. For example, states that typically see temperatures falling below freezing each year ordinarily belong to Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) in order to safeguard the power availability to residents. An RTO is an independent, membership-based organization that works in combination with other states’ electric power systems. RTOs account for approximately 60% of the energy availability in the United States.
The State of Texas is a part of the remaining 40% of energy users and the state purchases energy from independent energy companies. Texas is also unique because the state has its own electrical grid called “ERCOT.” ERCOT is also the name of the company that oversees Texas’s primary power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. ERCOT manages approximately 550 energy units in Texas and supplies around 90% of the state’s electricity needs. ERCOT was granted control over Texas’s power grid about twenty years ago when ERCOT fell under the jurisdiction of the Texas legislature and the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Why is ERCOT Responsible for the Power Loss in Texas?
Business owners and residents affected by the energy outages are turning to their state representatives, showing the frustration of their communities and demanding answers.
In a Dallas radio interview referencing cities in North Texas, State Representative Jeff Leach stated, “Why are there people in Richardson who have been without power for 36 hours, and just two miles away in Plano, there are people who have had no power outages at all.”
ERCOT issued an emergency alert on February 15, 2021, notifying some residents that there would be “rotating power outages” to conserve energy.
The three most important questions asked by those who are without water, food, heat, and power are:
When will the power be restored?
Why did ERCOT fail to prepare Texas’s power grid system to avoid power outages like this from happening?
Can I hold ERCOT financially responsible for our losses?
Can You Sue ERCOT for Financial Losses, Injury, or Wrongful Death?
In some circumstances, yes. ERCOT manages 90% of Texas’s power grid. Typically, power companies are granted specific legal protections that protect power companies from civil liability when severe weather causes power loss. However, a growing number of experts are alleging that ERCOT mismanaged the power grid and calling for greater accountability as climate change is expected to bring more extreme weather to the state’s ill-prepared electrical grid.
Residents and Business Owners Affected by the Power Loss Are Talking About a Filing Class Action Lawsuit Against ERCOT and Others Responsible
Business owners and residents who have suffered substantial financial losses, lost loved ones, missed work, sustained property damages like broken water pipes, and endured tremendous suffering due to the ERCOT power outages are online threatening to file and join a class action lawsuit to recover financial compensation. Ordinarily, people will complain about electricity outages, but this is one of the few power outages that has gained serious momentum in terms of filing civil lawsuits.
As previously stated, power companies are typically granted some legal protections to prevent “power outage lawsuits.” These protections are often written into agreements that define how much a utility company is permitted to charge customers. In these “contract tariffs,” power companies are often free from liability for power service interruptions due to circumstances beyond their control, such as an “act of God.”
However, these protections might be pierced, opening the door to civil liability when an electric company engages in gross negligence or willful misconduct. In the past, courts have been hesitant to designate liability for weather-related outages if the cost of litigation and damages awards would be passed down to customers through their electricity rates.
In the ERCOT power loss emergency, ERCOT, as the state’s grid operator, ordered rotating power outage due to a host of power grid system failures. Texas residents believe ERCOT’s failure to properly maintain the power grid and prepare for climate change, amongst other allegations, demonstrates that ERCOT is liable due to gross negligence.
Have Customers Ever Won a Power Outage Lawsuit?
Business and residential customers have teamed up in the past and have successfully won monetary compensation from local power companies after major storms caused extended power loss. By way of example, people in Nassau County, New York, filed a proposed class action lawsuit against their energy providers after Hurricane Sandy.
Could Climate Change Open the Door to Showing ERCOT Was Grossly Negligent?
Whether someone calls the increase in severe worldwide weather “weather change” or “climate change,” there is no doubt Texas has suffered powerful hurricanes, rainstorms, and extreme freezing temperatures in recent years.
A legal movement proposes to hold utility companies responsible for “falling asleep at the wheel.” One untested type of legal claim is called a “climate resilience claim.” A climate resilience claim permits plaintiffs to file a lawsuit to hold companies financially liable for failing to act competently with climate change. Although it is not clear if the Texas power outages meet the legal standard from bringing a climate resilience claim, individual plaintiffs filing their own lawsuits as well as plaintiffs who join a class action lawsuit could argue that ERCOT’s energy system operators and bulk grid operators failed to plan for climate change.
WHY CHOOSE PARKER WAICHMAN TO HANDLE YOUR CLAIM?
Parker Waichman LLP has secured a national reputation for excellence and litigating cases against large corporations. You can feel confident that your legal rights are well protected when you retain our firm.
Our firm’s recent achievements:
- We have obtained over $2 billion in jury verdicts, awards, and settlements on behalf of our clients.
- We have earned Martindale-Hubbell’s top, and most prestigious “AV Preeminent” peer review rating.
- We earned the coveted “5 Dragons” rating by Lawdragon, its highest rating, based upon peer review.
Parker Waichman is waiting to listen to you and examine your potential power outage loss claim. If we are able to serve you, your loved one, or your business, you can rest assured that the same focus, resources, and knowledge that we have used to build our firm’s reputation will be brought to bear on your case.
WERE YOU, A LOVED ONE, OR YOUR BUSINESS HARMED BY THE ERCOT ROTATING POWER LOSS?
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Parker Waichman LLP is reviewing cases to help families and businesses receive justice and full monetary compensation for harm caused by ERCOT. Trust your case with our ERCOT power loss lawsuit lawyers. For a free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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