The First Of Many Lawsuits Against CL&P Filed For Handling Of Storm

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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23 Comments on "The First Of Many Lawsuits Against CL&P Filed For Handling Of Storm"

  1. Another ridiculous lawsuit filed in our justice system. By their own logic, they were unprepared if they didn’t have a generator on hand.

  2. Ridgefielder | November 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm |

    Go ahead and sue them, get $20 and the watch your rates go up. All of their business practices are customary for large utilities, as side from lining the pockets of lawyers who will really benefit from this?

  3. We weren’t prepared with a generator? You are kidding me, right? It is CL&Ps job to supply power to it’s customers. It is not our responsibility to take over when they fail in their end. The fact they neglected to trim the trees or remove the ones that were about to come down, not only caused us to be without power, it put is in danger of getting hurt or killed. A lot of us went without heat for a week, had to rework Halloween, drove around with limbs hanging on wires above us, and watched as not one CL&P truck showed up for days. This was an inhuman way to treat their clients. They deserve every lawsuit brought against them…THEY DIDN’T DO THEIR JOB, which is to supply us with power in the safest and most efficient way possible.

  4. mike reissig | November 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    What about Cable/Phone/Internet interruption??
    They are sneaking thru this whole mess.

  5. I learned as a very young woman that evil does itself in. How long could they take our money without holding up their end of the bargain. I understand they have implemented Cap and Trade for CT and that is nothing but another way to steal our money. This will be fun to watch…(as soon as the crises is over). This will wake up even the sleepy CT voters who weren’t engaged. Pain does that, thank God!

  6. DrHunterSThompson | November 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

    Largest storm ever, 20 inches in October! 850,000 customers out, thousands of miles of wire downed, 80% of CLPs territory dark, ten’s of thousands if trees down all over their system. 8 or 9 days without power ain’t bad.

    Yup, their fault. Let’s sue’em!

    HST

  7. Yes, all of those folks without power because they didn’t do what experts said to do after a hurricane. It didn’t need to be 850,000. It didn’t need to be a week. No relief came to help because they didn’t get paid the last time. They are being taught a lesson on the safety measures they didn’t take. And unlike the phone and Internet, our kids weren’t shivering in the house because they were down. Who cares about those luxeries. It was cold. People were cold, and it didn’t have to be this bad.

  8. Why should I have to buy a $1500 generator because a utility monopoly can’t manage its own business.

  9. It’ll be easy to demonstrate negligence – there’s ample evidence that the utility failed to maintain a regimen of routine tree trimming not only along city streets but also in the transmission corridors where it owns the right of way.

    There will be businesses that go under because of CL&P’s failure to maintain the integrity of its infrastructure. Pretty simple.

  10. CL & P’s negligence is *extremely* clear and unequivocal. These are going to be relatively easy slam dunks. And lots of ’em. It’s about time, too. Unfortunately, in this day and age it’s the only way to demonstrate to a monolithic monopoly that you mean business and that they can no longer take you or your business (personal or corporate) for granted. Tys 😉

  11. well, we went 4 days, and were used to it. Generator by day, deep cycle batteries and inverter by night, and a wood stove; because rather than “freeze and sue” I’d rather be responsible and warm. Gee, Lisa Marie, by the time I was 1 I learned to feed myself; are you still opening your mouth like a baby bird? Not condoning CL@P’s lack of action, but what if this was life threatening, like an ice storm and below zero….you’d be dead.

  12. and having to “rework Halloween”? Oh my, the horror. Give me a break.

  13. CL & P charges businesses extra “fees” because they claim ” so that we can provide additional power needed to run them and get them up first”. So my electric bill is twice as high as a home electric ( even though I do not USE more electricity) bill, and presumably I will get my power back first, but I have not and have never seen this
    happen in the last 20 years of business. Yes, I have a generator for emergencies, but the cost of gas for days on end of running it, and the compounded issue of finding gas was a full time job during the outage. The worst of it is, the shareholders still get money even though by rights the “profits” are NOT there if CL & P raises rates for everyone and then cuts back on services…it’s like a Ponzi scheme using the people of CT to pay for any mistakes they make. They are not too big to fail!
    Start a real program for reliability & sustainability —bury the wires in curbs and underground like Europe does and has for years. This would never happen over there!

  14. I hope CL&P doesn’t settle, and this one goes to court. I want to be on the jury! Next, a law firm will try to sue god for dumping 18″ of snow on Connecticut saying we were not supposed to get snow in October. I’ll search for a list of all the named plaintiffs and boycott any businesses named in the suit. I hope others will do the same. Some people are so naive. A class action suit will only line the pockets of the lawyers and the plaintiffs will receive $10.00, 5 years later. In this case, the hair salon will loose all credibility and most of their clientele. Hmmmmm, The Asylum! Wait, are the meteorologists named in the suit? How about the towns for not clearing roads so that CL&P employees could fully assess the damage. Let’s tie up the courts for $10 a plaintiff!

  15. This was clearly a freak storm which produced an unprecedented magnitude of damage for which some residents were better prepared than others and, it seems, some power companies were better prepared than others. Although it is easy to simply blame CL&P for people being out 7-10 days (a few perhaps for longer), the question is really what the differences are between the preparation and response of CL&P and other power companies. I did see an Associated Press story a few days ago which seemed to indicate that CL&P’s restoration rate was, by far, the worst of the affected states, all of which I believe also have trees. I’m sure that CL&P will get reviewed relative to these other power companies for tree trimming protocols, equipment maintenance and inventory, account payable times, peer and vendor relationships, etc. If we were subjected to slower response times than provided by other power companies, we do deserve a thorough review, explanations and mandated corrective measures. CL&P has been granted a monopoly which demands of it the highest level of responsibility to the people they serve, especially when their customes are already paying the highest electric rates in the nation.

  16. Yes it is their fault. One fault is not distributing crews to each and every town, even if only one. Not a single crew was seen in Danbury or Bethel for 5 days!!!!

    And Jeffrey Butler had the same excuses this storm as Irene – he did not work to improve anything. Not to mention that he did not pay some of the outsdie help we were lucky enough to have during Irene. If he had done that in the private sector, he would have been fired.

    I think it is time for him to step down. And, I am hoping any cost for this is not passed on the the customers who have been neglected but rather to the stockholders!!

  17. Its called being prepared. You don’t plan on getting into an accident but you have auto insurance anyway. Yes, CL&P are supposed to provide a service but history shows that sometimes during large storms there’s outages. People who want to be prepared and covered in case of an outage purchase generators.

  18. To the lawyer and his business clients: Find some business interruption insurance coverage–get some– it’s cheap. To the individual: Learn to be self reliant and resourceful then it wouldn’t be so bad. Your safety and welfare are ultimately your own responsibility in a situation like this. Take charge and prepare in advance. Besides: What were the state and local authorities doing to make it easier to assess the damage? Why did it take until Thursday to have the National Guard do mobility work in Simsbury? Why did the town of Middletown think a 40 year old back up generator at the waste treatment plant was a good idea. It failed resulting in a discharge of untreated waste into the CT river. Of course CL&P could do better but so could we all from the individual household level all the way to the governor. Do something nice for the crews in your area and you’ll feel less like complaining and suing and more like a responsible proactive thinking citizen.

  19. Citizens of CT better get and stay engaged. DO NO FORGET. Keep the pressure ON – when lights come back on.

    Governor Malloy, Tell CL & P / NU to donate the pittance of $10 to charity. Food banks, homeless,etc. They really need the money. I do not need your $12 per person as Senator Williams clearly stated. Governor, do not be distracted by the $10 million they are offering. CL & P malfeasence has cost major pain. They must be held accountable for their gross incompetence. Look at the entire structure, including all of the hired guns, i.e. CL& P hires at the Capitolto do CL & P,s dirty work. They get paid big bucks — while the average ratepayer gets screwed — again. This behavior must stop! Enough is enough. We are NOT going to take this crap any longer!!

  20. To the CITIZENS of Connecticut,

    If you truly want to educate yourselves about what really goes on in Hartford, at the state Capitol building. Go to this site. This is PUBLIC RECORD. You have a RIGHT to KNOW the FACTS! Please do this. Be informed and stop being taken advantage of! Then tell your lawmakers that the system is CORRUPT and nedds to be DRASTICALLY CHANGED — ASAP !!!

    Go to: http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp

  21. What’s the matter with everyone? Are we so used to getting screwed by all these multi billion dollar energy companies that we think it’s o.k. for them to screw up –and we should just suck it up and take the loss? Are we so used to paying our outrageous bills every month that we have forgotten WHY we pay them? They are a service based corporation. They get paid for providing a service. They are responsible for everything involved in providing that service. I own a hair salon. If I mess up a color, or haircut–that’s my responsibility. I pay the price. I can’t just say,”Oh, my scissors weren’t sharp”, or “The lighting was bad.” I owe a duty to my customers.–so does CL&P. If my basement floods, because of a bad storm, It’s my responsibility. If I don’t shovel my walk after a snowstorm and someone slips and falls on my property–Its my fault. So why wouldn’t CL&P be responsible for failing to respond in a timely manner to this storm? As consumers don’t we have the right to expect continuous service? With the high price we pay for our electric service, should we not expect good service? CL&P failed us all. They laid off people to save money. They neglected to pay THEIR bills while demanding we pay ours. They did not do their job. I lost about $2500.00–because of their inability to do what I pay them to do. We should all be mad. We were all victims of their greed. Don’t let them just go on–business as usual. We have to let them know that we aren’t just going to roll over. We expect more, We demand more, and we shouldn’t let them get away with this.

  22. There’s lawsuits against this Company?GEE I wonder why?

    For the one saying your rates will go up if sue,then will sue them again for being
    GREEDY.

    As it is now sir or madam, their rates are OUT RAGEOUS as it is and REALLY NEED TO BE INVESTIGATED.Of course the politicians in this State don’t have the Fortitude or the Guts to do so.I have a sneaking suspicion they’re in the back pockets of this Utility Company, that’s why no one is really doing anything.Let’s just call it as it is Shall We?

    It is beyond my comprehension how customers continue to BLINDLY PAY THESE RIDICULOUS RATES AND PRICES.This state is either first or second the nation to be ROBBED by these OUTLANDISH RATES.

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