CPS Energy sued by San Antonio man for wife’s death during winter storm

Lawsuit: Ann Rodriguez died Feb. 17 as a result of extreme cold inside her home

A CPS Energy vehicle. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A lawsuit filed in Bexar County district court this week accuses CPS Energy of causing a San Antonio woman’s death after power to her home went out during a prolonged winter storm last month.

Ann Rodriguez was found dead in her bed Feb. 17, according to the March 1 suit filed by her husband.

It seeks more than $1 million in damages.

“Defendant CPS Energy and others could have increased electric production capacity in Texas in the days and weeks leading up to the February 2021 cold weather event, but consciously chose not to do so,” the suit states.

A CPS Energy spokesman, John Moreno, issued a brief statement about the lawsuit.

“CPS Energy doesn’t comment on active litigation, however, we will handle as appropriate through the legal process,” Moreno said.

The filing also claimed that CPS “consciously chose” not to weatherize generation, transmission and distribution facilities, which would have prevented cold-weather failures.

CPS President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams previously told the media every source of energy — including wind, solar, coal, natural gas, and nuclear — was affected in some way by the sub-freezing temperatures.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s website on Wednesday did not have Rodriguez listed in its death records database.

The suit claims power at the Rodriguez home went out in the morning of Feb. 16, causes temperatures inside the residence to plummet.

Rodriguez was then found dead the following day, according to the suit.

The wrongful death suit also accuses CPS Energy of negligence and gross negligence.

Texas energy officials have previously stated that energy providers, including CPS, were ordered to shed load after demand exceeded supply in the early morning hours of Feb. 15.

The suit claims the state’s electric grid regularly meets higher demands for energy during the summer months and that the demand during last month’s storm was “by no means unusual.”

Read more:

CPS Energy uses a college student for weather forecasting. That’s not how other major Texas utilities operate.

CPS Energy faces $1 billion bill for winter weather power crisis

CPS Energy will withhold winter storm charges while seeking funds to alleviate costs

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.