CONROE, Texas (KXAN) — An 11-year-old boy died during frigid temperatures and winter storms in Texas last week, and his family filed a lawsuit against the state’s power grid authority and an energy company that services Harris County.
The family of Cristian Pineda is suing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the utility company Entergy for gross negligence, Houston news station KPRC reports, accusing them of failing to warn people of a hazard, providing inaccurate and incomplete advice and information to customers and participating in and contributing to acts that caused the incident.
Cristian was found Tuesday morning, unresponsive in his bed after the family spent the night without electricity in their unheated mobile home in Southeast Texas.
His family says the temperature inside the mobile home got down to 12 degrees overnight Monday. Despite several layers of blankets and sharing the bed with another child for warmth, the family believes the bitter cold proved to be too much for their son.
KPRC reports the lawsuit states the temperature of the home neared 10 degrees, and the family huddled together in an effort to stay warm, with Cristian’s mother and stepfather were with the family’s baby and Cristian was with his little brother. A carbon monoxide test in the home was negative, the report said.
Investigators are awaiting autopsy results to officially name a cause of Cristian’s death.
ERCOT released a statement to the Houston Chronicle that said, “This is a tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” and that they haven’t reviewed any pending lawsuits.
Entergy said they couldn’t comment on pending litigation, but said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community.”
According to a GoFundMe account, the family went without electricity for two days.