The first of what is expected to be hundreds if not thousands of lawsuits against CL&P was filed Friday in Hartford Superior Court on behalf of the owner of The Asylum, a small Canton hair salon.
By Monday afternoon Edward A. Jazlowiecki of Forestville, said about 45 others have asked his firm to join his suit. About 30 of them are homeowners while the rest own small businesses, he said.
The suit – which will be amended to include additional plaintiffs on a weekly basis – alleges that CL&P was unprepared for the storm and should as the result pay damages.
Jazlowiecki said there is precedent for this suit. He filed a similar action on his own behalf a dozen years ago when he lost power at his home for about five days. He said he won, but declined to say how much.
Besides individuals and businesses, municipalities are also expected to file suits against Connecticut’s largest provider of electricity, which still has 50,000 customers without power as of today, 10 days after the storm began.
The suit alleges that prior to the storm CL&P:
did not take appropriate and effective measures to prevent the interruption of electrical service caused by a storm;
did not adequately trim trees to prevent trees and branches from falling on power lines as a result of a storm;
did not keep its electrical distribution equipment in proper condition;
did not take advantage of available technologies and safeguards, in use by other utility companies, that can prevent and/or reduce the incidence and/or severity of power outages caused by storms and otherwise;
despite being aware of the risk of inclement weather due to weather forecasts as well as it being close to winter in Connecticut, in which CL&P has operated for over 90 years, it did not take appropriate and effective measures to have adequate personnel, equipment and other resources ready and prepared to effectively deal with weather-related emergencies on a timely basis;
did not have backup and/or supplemental work crews ready and available to be deployed for electrical power outage restoration efforts;
did not have adequate backup power sources ready and available to be deployed in connection with power outages ;
did not have in place an overall and/or comprehensive plan to prevent and/or minimize the risk of power outage emergencies and/or to respond to power outage emergencies;
did not comply with regulations promulgated by the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC);
And, even after the storm, the suit says CL&Pt failed to take timely and effective action to restore power, including but not limited to failing to deploy sufficient manpower and equipment to restore power on a timely basis; and had not fully paid outside companies which were needed to assist in the power restoration efforts and as a result those companies refused to assist in the power restoration efforts and/or were delayed in assisting in the power restoration efforts.
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