The family of an 11-year-old Texas boy who froze to death in his bed when his mobile home lost power during the historic cold snap last week has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and their power company Entergy.
The family says that the temperature outside of their mobile home plummeted to about ten degrees after they lost power during a winter storm last week. The family huddled together in a single room in an effort to keep warm. Cristian Pineda shared a bed with his younger brother while his mother and stepfather slept with their baby boy.
In the morning, Cristian was unresponsive, and attempts to revive him using CPR failed. Cristian's mother, Maria Elisa Pineda, told the Houston Chronicle that her son did not have any health issues and was excited after seeing snow for the first time.
"Everything was well. He was happy that day. He was not at all sick," she said.
The lawsuit claims that ERCOT and Entergy failed to winterize their power system and were responsible for the death of the 11-year-old boy.
"Despite having knowledge of the dire weather forecast for at least a week in advance and the knowledge that the system was not prepared for more than a decade, ERCOT and Entergy failed to take any preemptory action that could have averted the crisis and were wholly unprepared to deal with the crisis at hand," the lawsuit states.
Tony Buzbee, the Pineda family attorney, told ABC News that Cristian "died for no reason other than corporate decisions."
"Rather than invest in infrastructure to prepare for the known winter storms that would most certainly come and potentially leave people vulnerable without power, the providers instead chose to put profits over the welfare of people, and ERCOT allowed them to do so," the lawsuit states.
Buzbee said that he expects more lawsuits to follow. More than two dozen people in Texas have died as a result of the winter storms.
"Cristian's lawsuit is the first, and his lawsuit should be the first," Buzbee said. "This kid is going to change Texas, and God bless him for that."
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