Embed from Getty Images
I am still pissed about what happened in Texas last week. And I am still recovering from the stress of it. I was able to relieve some of my stress by dragging Ted Cruz’s ass all over Twitter but I still feel a need to do something more. So tomorrow I will be taking a deputy registrar class to register people to vote. In the meantime, I am trying to keep it together as I watch more Texans get laden with unfair consequences of our failing government and systems. Many Texans, after experiencing energy and water shortages during an unprecedented statewide freeze, are now being faced with astronomical energy price hikes resulting in electric bills in the thousands.
The good news is some are pushing back and are suing both the power grid operators ERCOT and Entergy and electricity providers such as Griddy for loss of life, property and ridiculously high electric bills. Texas family the Pinedas lost their 11 year old son from hypothermia and are suing ERCOT and Entergy. Lisa Khoury, a Houston resident, has joined a class-action suit against Griddy for an outrageous $9000+ electric bill that she received. Below is more on the story from CBS News:
Consumer law experts say more such lawsuits are likely to come. But Texas’ deregulated electricity market, complete with what’s called variable-rate pricing, means that many of these claimants will have an uphill battle getting their bills discharged.
Lisa Khoury, a resident of Chambers County in Houston, filed a class-action suit Monday against her electricity provider, Griddy Energy. According to the suit, Khoury was charged $9,546 between February 1 and 19, an amount 40 times higher than her typical bill range of $200 to $250.
Khoury said Griddy pulled $1,200 from her bank account via an auto-pay system before she stopped payment through her bank, but she still owes over $8,000 for power that was intermittent, according to the complaint. Khoury and other class members of the suit are seeking $1 billion in monetary relief.
“Griddy charged Khoury in the middle of a disaster. She and her husband mostly were without power in their home from Wednesday, February 17, 2021, to Thursday, February 18, 2021. At the same time, Khoury hosted her parents and in-laws, who are in their 80s, during the storm. Even then, she continued to minimize any power usage because of the high prices,” the complaint reads.
Khoury lawyer Derek Potts, national managing partner of the Potts Law Firm, said Griddy’s billing runs afoul of Texas’ consumer protection laws — and that thousands of electricity users are likely affected.
Griddy said the lawsuit was “meritless” in a statement given to the Dallas Morning News. The electricity provider did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CBS News. On its website, the company states it does not profit from high power prices and blamed the Public Utility Commission of Texas for last weekend’s astronomical hikes.
I am one of the lucky ones as my electricity is included in my rent but some of these Texans are not so lucky. However these bills are criminal. That Griddy has boldly stated that these lawsuits are unfounded is ridiculous. Not only did their systems fail their customers but it is insane that customers are being charged for days that they didn’t even have power. It is time that elected officials and these criminal enterprises we call corporations be held to account. No Texan should have lost friends and family members and no company should have been made richer off our suffering.
I do hope that the judge that this lawsuit is brought before will see the unfairness and criminality behind this. The grid operators knew for the last decade that the crisis was a possibility but failed to upgrade the system, the electricity providers hiked costs, and the elected representatives either ignored or aided in this disaster. I hope Lisa Khoury and the family of Christian Pineda win their lawsuits. I also hope there will be many more lawsuits. Whatever gains those energy companies acquired during this crisis should be lost.