US Lawsuit alleges Texas boy died of hypothermia after power went out in his mobile home
Texas Boy Dies Of Suspected Hypothermia After Home Suffers Power Outage
The family moved to the U.S. from Tela, Honduras, two years ago and were not used to such freezing temperatures. Although the toddler was fine, the following day, by 2pm, the sixth grader had not stirred. Cristian Pavon Pineda made no complaint of feeling unwell the previous evening, Maria Elisa Pineda said. After the 11-year-old was found dead on Monday afternoon, his mother and step-father, Manuel Moreno, 38, immediately called the police. Conroe Police Department investigators came to the home and stayed until 8pm that day. An autopsy was performed Thursday, said Conroe PD spokesman Sgt.
The family of an 11-year-old Texas boy who died last week afteris suing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Entergy Texas for $100 million.
Cristian Pineda died of hypothermia, just one day after he saw snow for the first time in his life, according to his attorney and the lawsuit filed over the weekend in Jefferson County District Court.
Cristian's cause of death has not been determined. Taylor Nichols with Montgomery County Forensic Services said it will be at least 60 to 90 days before they have autopsy results for Cristian. She said her office does not issue preliminary reports and they have to wait until all of the testing comes back.
Authorities suspect hypothermia after 11-year-old Texas boy dies in bed amid power outages
Authorities believe 11-year-old Christian Pavon died in his bed from hypothermia on Tuesday after his family's home lost power amid the unfolding winter disaster taking place in Texas. Cristian Pavon was found unresponsive in his family's unheated mobile home in Conroe, Tex., according to the Washington Post."It was very cold and the stepdad said even the mom was shivering that night," Jaliza Yera, Cristian's aunt told a local ABC News station 13.A winter storm brought plunging temperatures to the Lone Star State this week, creating a power and clean water crisis as millions lost heat and electricity.
Pineda family attorney Anthony Buzbee told CNN the lawsuit is the first of seven that will filed.
"I think it's pretty ironic, here we are in the energy capital of the country, in a state that claims its energy independence and we have people dying in their homes because they don't have power in the fourth largest city in the country. It's unfathomable," Buzbee said.
The lawsuit says that ERCOT made the "decision to not require equipment upgrades to better withstand extreme winter temperatures, and instead choosing to operate mostly isolated from other grids in the U.S., left the majority of the Texas power system unprepared for severe winter weather, and unable to deal effectively when Texas experienced severe weather."
Entergy Texas isto customers in more than two dozen counties in Texas, including Montgomery County, where the Pineda family resides.
Texas Pays the Price of the Culture War
Instead of focusing on governance, Republican politicians in the Lone Star State spent their time inflaming grievances.We were among the millions of Texans who lost power when a massive winter storm brought the temperature down to the single digits. In Houston, a woman and child accidentally suffocated themselves with carbon monoxide trying to stay warm in their car. Two people in Austin died in a fire that likely resulted from an attempt to stay warm. Here in San Antonio, a man in his 70s was found dead, apparently from exposure.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community. We are unable to comment due to pending litigation," an Entergy Texas spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.
ERCOT provided CNN with a statement saying it hasn't reviewed the lawsuit, but "will respond accordingly" when it has.
"Our thoughts are with all Texans who have and are suffering due to this past week. However, because approximately 46% of privately-owned generation tripped offline this past Monday morning, we are confident that our grid operators made the right choice to avoid a statewide blackout," ERCOT spokesperson Leslie Sopko said.
Pineda family 'huddled' for warmth
The lawsuit describes how the Pineda family "huddled" for warmth as temperatures dropped to 10 degrees.
"As the storm worsened on Tuesday, the temperatures reached historic lows - as low as 10 degrees in the Pineda's area. To stay warm, the entire family of five huddled in a single room. Cristian Pineda shared a bed and tried to warm his younger brother, while his mother and stepfather comforted his baby brother nearby. Cristian was only 11. He suffered the frigid temperatures for the entire night, suffering until his family found him unresponsive the next day. The family immediately called 911. The family attempted CPR, but it was too late. (Cristian) died because grid wasn't a priority, and the energy provider made decisions based on profits," the lawsuit claims.
Energy-rich Texas suffers energy nightmare with ongoing power outages
Even mighty Texas, the energy powerhouse of America, is feeling the wrath of Mother Nature. © Matthew Busch/Bloomberg/Getty Images Pump jacks operate in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. The arctic freeze gripping the central U.S. is raising the specter of power outages in Texas and ratcheting up pressure on energy prices already trading at unprecedented levels. Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images A deep freeze this week in the Lone Star state, which relies on electricity to heat many homes, is causing power demand to skyrocket.
Conroe Police Lt. James Kelemen Sr. told CNN the boy's death remains under investigation and there's no signs of foul play.
"Since the 11-year-old has not been to a doctor in several years, we do not have any medical history on him," Kelemen told CNN in an email.
Buzbee said the child hadn't been to a doctor because he was healthy.
"We don't have the autopsy results but what we do know is he had no underlying health conditions. He was a healthy child. Whether the cold killed him or played a role in his death, we will know soon," Buzbee said, adding "All I know for sure is he was a healthy young man and he died because the temperature in his mobile home was 12 degrees."
Police can't confirm the boy died from hypothermia. Kelemen said the police department is waiting for the results from the autopsy and toxicology report to determine the child's cause of death.
"The child was fine when he went to bed but never woke up. We cannot say, at this time, that the cold weather was a factor in the death," Kelemen said.
The lawsuit also describes "images of empty downtown Houston office buildings with power, but the Pineda's mobile home park was left without power."
"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 says.
Ted Cruz is an embarrassment to Texas (opinion) .
Caught out at the airport--taking vacation in the midst of a pandemic and energy catastrophe in his home state--Cruz offered a callous example of how our state's conservatives try to avoid embarrassment by being slippery and disingenuous, writes Texan James Moore. Meanwhile, Texas's attitude toward government has become deadly. The winter storm that was too much for Cruz offers a clear example of the tragedies that can accompany policies that are too conservative to make sense, but calculated enough to make some people money. Texas fancied itself as independent from the rest of the Union, so it built an electrical grid all its own.