CPS Energy named in two more wrongful death lawsuits

Other power companies named as co-defendants in both suits

CPS Energy headquarters downtown.
CPS Energy headquarters downtown. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Two more San Antonio families have filed lawsuits against CPS Energy, claiming poor preparation from the utility ahead of February’s winter storm contributed to the deaths of their loved ones.

While two previous wrongful death lawsuits filed by San Antonio families last month listed CPS as the sole defendants in each case, the most recent two lawsuits have named other power companies as co-defendants, Bexar County court records show.

In a lawsuit filed March 19, a San Antonio man said his mother passed away in February after several days of power outages at her home kept her from using an electric-powered oxygen machine.

After an emergency backup oxygen tank ran out, the woman’s physical condition deteriorated, and she died Feb. 21, the suit states.

The petition claims CPS Energy and seven power companies could have increased electric production in the days and weeks before the storm and chose not to and also failed to properly weatherize their energy infrastructure.

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In a separate lawsuit filed March 23 against CPS Energy, seven other power companies and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) -- the agency that operates the state’s electric grid -- the family of a San Antonio man said he died after his oxygen machine became inoperable due to a power outage.

The family of Manuel Riojas said health care providers contacted after the machine stopped working Feb. 15 were unable to reach Riojas’ home because of hazardous weather and icy roads, and he died a day later, the suit states.

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