Latest on the Hurricane: NY Utility Facing Legal Action

Posted on Nov 13 2012 - 9:52pm by Travis

Many New York residents have gotten fed up with little to no electricity in the weeks following Hurricane Sandy, and are working together to sue a major utility for what they describe as negligence and an outdated system to deal with emergencies. In addition to all the power and transportation issues, the hurricane caused around $50 billion in damage, so residents’ tempers are beginning to ignite in these weeks after the storm.

While it is true that many have had their power restored, there are still thousands living with no power and heat, or at the very least sporadic service of each. Part of the problem is that normal winter weather is making its way through the city, and in many cases residents have to go outside because it is warmer there than in their apartments. “No power and it is freezing!” said Diane Gregg, 55, of Red Hook, Brooklyn. She also notes that power is not being restored. “We don’t know why,” she said. “You really don’t get any answers.”

Long Island Power Authority, a state-owned power company, has had a class action lawsuit brought up against it by residents of Long Island. Not only does the lawsuit allege that systems are outdated for dealing with these issues, but it is also on public record that the system was outdated after Hurricane Irene struck last year.

Part of the issue is that many homes have had their power circuits damaged by salt water, and therefore they have to be inspected before power can be resumed. This of course results in people having to go extended amounts of time without power. It is this level of response that claimants are attacking, saying that LIPA, especially because it is a state company, has even more responsibility to make sure that their customers can resume power after such an event.

Source: Reuters