The family of an 11-year-old boy who died in a freezing Texas trailer amid the state’s cold snap are suing their power company for $100,000.
Christian Pavon Pineda was found dead next to his toddler brother on Monday, February 15, after he and his family were left to battle plummeting temperatures without heating or water.
His family have now accused power grid operator ERCOT and electricity provider Entergy of gross negligence for failing ‘to warn people of the dangerous conditions and giving incomplete guidance to customers’ regarding the extreme cold, The New York Post reports.
Sadly, Pineda’s tragic and untimely death is one of many in the state, where millions have been left without heating or water during a storm that has seen temperatures plummet to as low as -18C.
The state of Texas is unique in its approach to providing electricity to its residents, given that it is the only state in the US to have an independent and isolated grid, allowing it to avoid federal regulations. However, this isolation has made it impossible for the state to draw electricity from elsewhere.
More than 30 people have died in Texas since the cold snap began; some from illnesses directly related to the cold, and others as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from resorting to other sources of fuel to keep warm, such as generators or even cars.
Among the deaths are three young siblings and their grandmother, who all died in a house fire after resorting to a fireplace to keep warm.
Five-year-old Olivia Nguyen, Edison, 8, Olivia, 11, and their 75-year-old grandmother, Le Loan, all passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The children’s mother, Jackie, and a friend were also injured and taken to hospital.
Meanwhile, millions of families have also been told they must boil their water before consuming it as the filtration system has been compromised. But without power, for many that’s simply not possible.
A major disaster has officially been declared in the state by President Joe Biden, in order to make sure emergency funding is available for individuals in need, as well as support for finding temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans for loss on uninsured properties.
He is expected to visit the state as early as one day this week.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.