Power failures can leave people feeling helpless and frustrated. Just a couple of hours without power can make a person realize how much we take for granted the ability to run the dishwasher, watch television, and use an alarm clock. But what if you were without power for a day? Two days? A week? What about if you were without power for more than two weeks?
Some residents living along the East Coast areas that were affected by Hurricane Sandy have been facing power outages for more than two weeks. And they are fed up.
Last week, two residents of Long Island filed a lawsuit against Long Island Power Authority and National Grid, the area’s main electricity providers, alleging that they committed “gross negligence, breach of contract, and fraud.”
The lawsuit does not seek specific damages, but instead, asks the court to award a “sum to be determined at trial.” Moreover, the lawsuit was filed as a class action, which according to the plaintiffs’ attorney Ken Mollins, “has the potential to be the biggest class-action lawsuit ever with possibly 1 million individuals joining.”
Because the lawsuit was filed as a class action, other similarly situated plaintiffs are eligible to join the lawsuit. Individuals who sign onto the class action lawsuit will generally relinquish their rights to pursue an individual cause of action against the electric companies. Class actions are commonly used when a large number of people have been wronged by the same defendant. By pooling their resources, the plaintiffs are able to more effectively pursue their cause of action.
According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, the electric companies were negligent in their lack of preparation for Hurricane Sandy. “In the week before the storm they did nothing to prepare,” said Mollins. “They took no evasive action whatsoever.”
According to this article, some legal analysts believe that the class action lawsuit will be difficult to prove, nonetheless. For instance, CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan thinks that it will be a difficult case to prove because the plaintiffs will have to prove that the utility companies were negligent in planning for the storm.
If you have a potential class action lawsuit, the Chicago class action attorneys at Ankin Law Office are skilled at evaluating and handling a wide variety of class action suits. Contact us today at (312) 600-0000 to discuss your case at a free consultation.