Class-action lawsuit alleges Entergy lied about stability of its power grid
NEW ORLEANS - A lawsuit filed on behalf of Entergy customers accuses the massive power provider of failing to prepare its system for a major hurricane, leaving hundred of thousands in the dark after Hurricane Ida.
The suit, filed over the weekend in Orleans Parish, alleges "grossly inadequate maintenance and inspection" of Entergy's system. Nearly one million of the company's Louisiana customers lost power after the storm pounded the southeast region of the state Aug. 29. Many homes and business were left without electricity for weeks.
The storm knocked out several major electrical structures, including a transmission tower in New Orleans that provided power to eight different transmission lines, leaving the city totally in the dark.
“We are standing up for people and businesses who have been injured as a result of Entergy’s negligence and failure to transmit energy to its customers," Attorney Juan LaFonta said. "From the families who have lost a freezer of food to businesses who have been shuttered as a result of power loss in hard hit communities, to those with serious injuries or hyperthermia-related wrongful death due to the power loss, our intent is that all Hurricane Ida-impacted residents are represented in this class action lawsuit.”
The lawsuit goes as far to say Entergy lied about the stability of its power grid, citing interviews featuring the company's CEO on local news outlets. CEO Phillip May was quoted as saying the tower was "very robustly engineered" and that it did not need to be replaced, despite the structure being covered in rust, according to WWL-TV.
Lawsuit cites Entergy CEO’s interview with me @WWLTV where he claimed the utility’s transmission equipment had been engineered to withstand 150 mph winds. Lawsuit cites other statements by Entergy it claims are “lies” about the strength of its system. https://t.co/c8juw2mkov— David Hammer (@davidhammerWWL) September 20, 2021
“The Entergy corporation knew of the deficiencies in their infrastructure yet failed to act upon them,” Attorney Harang said in a statement. “This is gross negligence.”
Parts of the state remained without power for weeks after the storm. The state health department reported that nine people died in Orleans Parish from excessive heat during extended power outages after the hurricane.
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