More than two weeks after Superstorm Sandy ravaged much the metropolitan Northeast, power has yet to be restored to thousands of residents - some of whom decided to take legal action.
“It’s like banging your head against a wall. It’s a nightmare that doesn’t end,” one Long Island resident told reporters .
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and its partner, National Grid, are facing a class action lawsuit set to be filed on behalf of thousands affected by LIPA’s performance in response to the storm, CBS New York is reporting. The suit cites a breach of contract, negligence, and fraud by LIPA in their response to Superstorm Sandy, and is alleging between “750,000 and one million people have been one way or another damaged by the ineptitude of this organization.”
LIPA and National Grid are being scolded by powerless Long Island residents for their lack of repair time estimates and clear post-storm instructions. Attorneys for the upcoming suit want to investigate how LIPA is spending its money, even if that means pursuing criminal prosecution. Although civil damages are the goal of the developing class action, a complaint has been filed with the New York state Inspector General about possible criminal litigation.
Primarily, Long Island residents and their legal counsel want answers and accountability. “It’s like banging your head against a wall. It’s a nightmare that doesn’t end,” one Long Island resident told reporters .
Superstorm Sandy is responsible for more than 1.1 million Long Island power outages, of which 99 percent have been fixed, LIPA said. The company expects the remaining one percent of homes still without power—about 10,000 residences— to take more time to fix, though, and that percentage does not include roughly 46,000 flood-damaged homes. To help speed up recovery, LIPA has now agreed to allow private electricians to conduct repairs.
For residents who have spent 15 days and counting in the dark, no explanation given by LIPA has been adequate. The company has publicly denied any alleged supply shortage and that they were unprepared for the hurricane, but have yet to address the class action.