Texas family files lawsuit against ERCOT after death of 11-year-old boy during winter storm

Texas

HOUSTON (KETK/KPRC) – A Houston-area family has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the Electric Reliability Council of Texas after their 11-year-old boy died during the severe winter storm earlier this week.

Cristian Pineda and his Conroe family lost power at their mobile home on Tuesday night after temperatures neared single digits.

An autopsy has been completed, according to our NBC affiliate KPRC, but investigators are still waiting for further tests to come back before they determine a cause of death. A carbon monoxide test on the home came back negative.

The family stated in the lawsuit that they believe the cold temperatures led to his death. Documents obtained by KPRC state that the family was huddled in a single room to stay warm. Cristian was sharing a bed with his younger brother and was found unconscious the next morning.

Tony Buzbee, the family’s attorney, said in an interview with KPRC that “Common sense tells you the weather played a part in his death. His mother is very adamant, clear that he had no underlying conditions whatsoever that would make him particularly vulnerable to cold weather.”

The lawsuit accuses ERCOT of several shortfalls, including:

  • Failing to warn the public of a hazard
  • Providing inaccurate and incomplete advice and information to customers
  • Participating in and contributing to acts that caused Cristian’s death

Buzbee said that ERCOT knew they “had not winterized their sources of power and they put people in a lot of danger.”

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