How to File a Lawsuit Against ERCOT and the American Electric Power Company (AEP) and AEP Texas, for Financial Losses, Personal Injury, Business Interruption, Property Damage, Electric Bill Overcharges, or the Wrongful Death of a Loved One
How Gross Negligence and Willful Misconduct by ERCOT and AEP Caused Texas's Power Grid to Fail
ERCOT and AEP officials and Texas governmental leaders ignored warnings dating back to 2011 that Texas's power supply was in danger. As deadly freezing temperatures struck North Texas this year, ERCOT and AEP tragically left over four million Texans out in the cold by ordering rolling power outages. Millions of Texans experienced lengthy power outages lasting several days, causing extreme hardships including:
Serious Personal injuries (requiring hospitalization);
Residential property damage;
Commercial property damage;
Commercial business interruption losses; and
The tremendous amount of economic and non-economic harm both residents and business owners have suffered, and continue to suffer, has Texans asking: "Who is responsible for these power outages and the harm they caused?"
Victims of the ERCOT-ordered rolling blackouts are seeking monetary compensation by filing lawsuits against ERCOT, American Electric Power Co., and AEP Texas, under Texas Constitution Article 1, Section 17 that states, "no person's property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made."
On February 18, 2021, a Houston couple filed a $10 million lawsuit against Texas's electricity grid operator stating the power grid operator and a local utility owe compensation for their lack of preparedness.
If you are one of the many Texans who suffered property damage, injury, death of a loved one, business losses, business interruption, electric bill overcharges, or any other type of harm caused by the power grid outage, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit to receive justice and just compensation for gross negligence and willful misconduct by ERCOT and AEP.
And the cost to you? Nothing, unless we recover damages on your behalf. This team of law firms – Fears Nachawati Law Firm, Parker Waichman LLP and Watts Guerra LLP - draws on a long history, recovering billions of dollars in economic compensation on behalf of individuals and businesses harmed by gross negligence and willful misconduct. The firms are here to review your claim against ERCOT and others who are responsible for your harm and losses. The cost of that review by an experienced and effective team of law firms? Nothing. There is no obligation when you consult with us.
The process of recovering financial compensation begins by contacting a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and potential case. Our caring team is ready to listen to you. Call us at 1-800-800-2828 for a discussion about your losses. It’s free[AO2] .
Who or What is ERCOT?
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is a company that controls approximately 90% of Texas's electrical grid. Although southwest states like Texas do not ordinarily receive freezing temperatures, it is evident that Texas's power infrastructure was not adequately prepared to keep up with changing weather patterns and climate change. For example, states that experience winter temperatures that fall below freezing every year customarily belong to Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) to ensure their residents have power. RTOs are independent, membership-based organizations that work in an alliance with other states' electric power systems. RTOs account for nearly 60% of the energy provided in the United States. RTOs protect their state’s citizens from what happened in Texas.
Where was Texas’s protection? Nowhere to be found. Texas's power grid is a part of the remaining 40% of states that are unprotected. Texas’s energy is purchased from – and delivered by – independent power companies. Texas is unique, since the state owns its electrical grid, called "ERCOT." ERCOT is also the name of the company that oversees Texas's power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. ERCOT oversees approximately 550 energy units in Texas and supplies about 90% of the state's electricity needs. ERCOT was granted control over Texas's power grid about twenty years ago when ERCOT was moved under the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas and the Texas legislature.
Why is ERCOT Responsible for the Directing Rolling Power Outages in Texas?
Business owners and citizens, harmed by the energy blackouts, are showing frustration and demanding answers from their state representatives.
State Representative Jeff Leach asked the question all Texans are asking in a recent Dallas radio station interview, using cities in North Texas as an example: "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?"
On February 15, 2021, ERCOT declared an emergency alert informing some residents that they would lose power during a "rotating power outage," designed to conserve energy. However, these power outages lasted several days, causing injuries, deaths, property damage, power bill overcharges, and business interruption losses.
During and after the rotating power blackouts, the two most important questions Texans are asking are simple and direct:
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 I Sue ERCOT for Financial Losses, Injury, or Wrongful Death?
In some cases, yes. Generally, power companies are given certain legal protections that shield them from liability when severe weather causes power outages. However, an increasing number of experts are claiming that ERCOT mismanaged Texas's electrical grid and these experts are demanding greater accountability as climate change has brought more extreme weather to the state's ill-prepared electrical grid.
Citizens and Business Owners Affected by the Power Outages Are Discussing Filing Class Action Lawsuits Against ERCOT and Other Responsible Parties
Business owners and residents who have experienced financial losses, lost loved ones, suffered injuries, missed work, sustained property damages like broken water pipes, and endured losses due to the power outages are speaking out online. They are threatening to file or join a class action lawsuit to recover financial compensation. Ordinarily, people just complain about electricity outages. Today, however, all that has changed. Texans are joining together for change. This power outage has gained significant momentum as civil lawsuits are being filed to secure the rights of Texans and bring those who have violated those rights to justice.
What about those legal protections granted power companies designed to prevent “power outage lawsuits”? Those protections could be lost and the door opened to civil liability if a power company engages in gross negligence or willful misconduct.
In the 2021 Texas power outage emergency, ERCOT, as the state's grid operator, ordered the rotating blackouts because of a host of power grid failures. Texans believe ERCOT's failure to properly maintain the power grid and prepare for climate change, among other allegations, demonstrate that ERCOT is liable due to gross negligence and willful misconduct.
Have Energy Customers Ever Won a Power Outage Lawsuit?
Business and residential power customers have teamed up in the past and they have successfully won compensation from local power companies following major storms that caused extended blackouts. For example, residents of Nassau County filed a proposed class action lawsuit against their energy providers following Hurricane Sandy.
Could Climate Change Open the Door to Proving That ERCOT and AEP Were Grossly Negligent or Engaged in Willful Misconduct?
Whether you call it "weather change" or "climate change" there is no doubt that Texas has been subjected to rainstorms, powerful hurricanes, and extreme freezing temperatures. A legal movement aims to hold utility companies responsible for "falling asleep at the wheel."
One type of legal claim being considered is called a "climate resilience claim." A climate resilience claim allows plaintiffs to file lawsuits that hold companies financially liable for failing to operate competently with respect to climate change. Although it is unknown if the Texas power outages will meet the legal standard for bringing a climate resilience claim, victims may be able to file a lawsuit or join a class action lawsuit if ERCOT, AEP and other bulk grid operators were grossly negligent or acted in willful misconduct in failing to plan for climate change.
Why Choose This Team of Firms to Handle Your Claim?
Fears Nachawati Law Firm, Parker Waichman LLP and Watts Guerra LLP have all achieved national reputations for winning cases against large corporations. Our trial lawyers have beaten the largest and most powerful corporations in America, yielding substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our efforts have made consumers safer and corporations warier of cutting corners. We’ve teamed up here to move quickly and powerfully.
We are ready to listen to you and examine your potential power outage loss claim. If we are able to represent you, your loved one, or your business, you can rest assured knowing 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 Outages
CONTACT US FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Our team is reviewing cases to help families and businesses receive justice and full financial compensation for harm caused by ERCOT and AEP. Trust your case with our Texas power loss lawsuit lawyers. For a free consultation, contact our law firms today by calling 1-800-800-2828 or filling out a form at http://www.texaspowerfailure2021lawsuit.com.