State Watch

$100M lawsuit alleges negligence by power company, grid operator led to Texas boy’s death during winter storm

The family of an 11-year-old boy who died in the freezing Texas weather last week has filed a lawsuit against the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and power company Entergy, alleging that gross negligence led to the child’s death.

Local Houston news station KHOU reports that the family of Christian Pavon has filed a lawsuit and is represented by attorney Tony Buzbee.

Pavon is believed to have died on Tuesday due to hypothermia after his family’s home lost power. His official cause of death has yet to be released, KHOU reports.

According to the suit filed by Pavon’s family, the cause of death was hypothermia, KHOU reports. His family is asking for more than $100 million in damages.

Entergy, in response to the lawsuit, said the company was “deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community. We are unable to comment due to pending litigation.” 

“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,” ERCOT said in its own statement. “However, because approximately 46 percent 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.”

Dozens of Texans died when freezing temperatures swept across the state last week, and more than 4 million people lost power, many for several days. Power to most homes has been restored, but several thousand remain without electricity.

The state’s leaders and ERCOT are facing intense criticism over the outages. Texas’s power infrastructure lacked the winterization needed to handle freezing temperatures. In addition, Texas is the only state to maintain an independent power grid, meaning it couldn’t turn to its neighbors to temper the blackouts.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has called for an investigation into ERCOT.

President Biden has sent emergency supplies to the state, including 60 generators as well as thousands of blankets, meals and liters of water. Biden on Saturday also authorized a declaration of emergency in Texas along with Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Tags Electric Reliability Council of Texas Joe Biden KHOU Texas Texas power outages

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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