The mother of an 11-year-old who died in the Texas winter power outage is suing 2 of the state's energy giants

Ashley Collman
·3 min read
Christian Pavon
Christian Pavon, 11, playing in the snow on February 15. He was found dead in his family's mobile home in Conroe, Texas, on February 16. GoFundMe
  • Cristian Pavon, 11, was found dead in his family's mobile home in Texas last Tuesday.

  • His family suspects he died of hypothermia after they lost power in the winter storm.

  • His mother is suing two energy providers, accusing them of putting "profits over the welfare of people."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The mother of an 11-year-old boy who died last week in a mobile home in Conroe, Texas, that lost power during the snowstorm has sued two of the state's energy providers, alleging gross negligence, reports said.

Cristian Pavon's stepfather found him dead in the family's home last Tuesday. They had gone two nights without power as temperatures dipped as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the boy's aunt told ABC13.

Pavon's aunt said that the boy had no underlying health conditions and that he had played in the snow the day before. It was the first time Pavon, who had moved to the US from Honduras two years ago, had seen snow.

"He was fine," his mother, Maria Piñeda, told Univision. "He had dinner, played, and went to bed."

Piñeda has filed a $100 million wrongful-death lawsuit against the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state's power grid, and the electricity provider Entergy, multiple outlets reported. Millions of Texans lost electricity last week as providers imposed so-called rolling blackouts to prevent a statewide power failure.

KHOU, a CBS affiliate in Houston, reported that the lawsuit said Pavon died of hypothermia during the power outage, though the medical examiner has not yet specified a cause of death.

It accused the two energy providers of putting "profits over the welfare of people" by ignoring recommendations to adapt the power grid for winter conditions, ABC News reported.

maria pinedo
Pavon's mother, Maria Piñeda, giving an interview to Univision after Pavon's death. Univision

"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 peremptory action that could have averted the crisis and were wholly unprepared to deal with the crisis at hand," the lawsuit said, according to ABC News.

Piñeda's attorney, Tony Buzbee, told ABC News on Sunday that the boy "died for no reason other than corporate decisions."

"There are a lot of decisions that were made a long time ago that led to the death of this young man. That is unacceptable," Buzbee said.

The lawsuit accused the energy companies of targeting poor people during these outages. "There were images of empty downtown Houston office buildings with power, but the Piñeda's mobile home park was left without power," it said, according to ABC News.

It also accused the companies of misleading customers by suggesting that the blackouts would be temporary.

"The blackouts instead lasted days," the lawsuit said, according to ABC News. "The failure to adequately inform Plaintiffs of the length of the blackouts prevented them from properly preparing for the lack of power, or leaving the area." It added that "accurate information might have saved" the boy.

Entergy told Insider that it was "deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community" but that it was "unable to comment due to pending litigation."

ERCOT told Insider that it hadn't reviewed the lawsuits but would "respond accordingly once we do."

"Our thoughts are with all Texans who have and are suffering due to this past week," the statement said, adding, "We are confident that our grid operators made the right choice to avoid a statewide blackout."

A GoFundMe to raise money to help send Pavon's body back to Honduras had raised more than $86,000 as of Monday morning.

Read the original article on Insider