Six SA families have now filed wrongful death lawsuits against CPS Energy following winter storm

Suits filed earlier this month claim CPS, other energy providers failed to increase electric production

CPS Energy has now been named in six wrongful death lawsuits since February's storm.

SAN ANTONIO – Two more San Antonio families joined a growing list of people who have filed wrongful death lawsuits against CPS Energy, claiming the utility contributed to the deaths of their loved ones in February, court records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.

The lawsuits, filed separately April 1 by attorneys representing the families of Luis Flores and Florentina Flores, claim both people passed away after power outages impacted their ability to continue medical treatments during this winter’s storm.

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The court filings mark the fifth and six wrongful death lawsuits filed against CPS Energy since the storm ended in February.

The family of Luis Flores claims the power outages on Feb. 15 caused his dialysis treatment center in northwest Bexar County to be closed for the next four days.

“Decedent had two scheduled dialysis appointments that were cancelled during the time the facility lacked power. As a result, he was unable to obtain medically necessary dialysis treatment,” the suit states.

Luis Flores collapsed and then passed away while attempting to get into his son’s van to go to a dialysis appointment Feb. 19, the suit states.

The family of Florentina Flores, no apparent relation, claims she died Feb. 15 after her electric powered oxygen equipment stopped working due to power outages.

“When her oxygen tank had been emptied, Decedent and her family reached out her healthcare provider for an additional oxygen tank, but the healthcare prover was not able to deliver additional oxygen due to the conditions of the roads,” the suit states.

Florentina Flores died before paramedics arrived at her home, according to the suit.

Like other recent wrongful death lawsuits filed against CPS Energy, other power companies were named as co-defendants.

The suits claim CPS Energy and the other companies failed to maintain or properly weatherize their energy generation and transmission facilities and could have increased energy production prior to February’s winter storm but chose not to.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) -- the agency that operates the state’s electric grid -- was also named as a defendant in both suits, records show.

ERCOT was negligent during the storm because it failed to make all reasonable efforts to prevent interruptions to power service and failed to properly manage the subsequent emergencies that resulted from these interruptions, the suits claim.

Millions of Texans were without power for days during the storm in February after energy demand outpaced supply and ERCOT forced energy providers to institute rolling blackouts around the state.

The death toll from the storm has unofficially climbed to close to 200 people, the Houston Chronicle reported last week.

A CPS Energy spokesman on Tuesday said the utility does not comment on active litigation.

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.