Lawsuit: Central Texas man endured deadly cold temperatures, had hypothermia, severe frostbite when found unresponsive in his home
DALLAS, TX, UNITED STATES, March 4, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — North Texas electricity provider Oncor Electric Delivery has been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the son of a Hill County man who died after losing electricity and heat, and enduring single-digit temperatures in his Whitney home during the winter storm blackout.
Elzie D. Ford, 68, died on Feb. 20, one day after he was found unresponsive and rushed by helicopter ambulance to a Waco hospital.
In what is believed to be the first such wrongful death lawsuit filed in Dallas County, the lawsuit filed by Mr. Ford’s son, Larry Ford, charges that Dallas-based Oncor failed to heed findings of investigations of similar winter blackouts in 1989 and 2011 and did not prepare for the predicted spike in electricity demand or manage the power supply once the blackout began.
“We filed this lawsuit because Oncor failed to do its job,” said trial lawyer and Fears Nachawati co-founder Bryan Fears. “Because of these failings, good people like Elzie Ford were forced into a life-and-death struggle for survival.”
According to the lawsuit filed by Fears Nachawati Law Firm, Watts Guerra LLP, and Parker Waichman LLP, Mr. Ford had no electricity or heat beginning Feb. 14, and temperatures in Whitney reportedly dropped to as low as 1 degree. With the roads impassable, Larry Ford was unable to check on his father until Feb. 19. The elder Mr. Ford was found unresponsive and died the following day at the hospital, where authorities confirmed he had hypothermia, severe frostbite and brain damage.
“For these companies, saving a nickel by cutting corners on preparation was more valuable than the potential for property damage and deaths. It was a calculated risk they made as this storm approached and they chose not to take the most basic steps to prepare,” said Fears Nachawati trial lawyer Patrick Luff. “These companies did not consider the value of preventing suffering and loss of life, so it’s now up to a jury to do that for them.”
“The storm and the power demands it created were not a surprise,” said trial lawyer and Parker Waichman co-founder Jerrold Parker. “Texas has had bad winter weather before and, in fact, there were accurate warnings for days that this weather system was on the way. This was a failure to prepare.”
“This is one of the byproducts of an electrical system that has been deregulated to the point that any oversight is ultimately toothless,” said trial lawyer and Watts Guerra co-founder Mikal Watts. “Companies like Oncor are willing to place profit over human life because they have learned that regulators will not hold them accountable. We are filing this lawsuit to make certain something like this does not happen again.”
The lawsuit is Larry Ford et al. v Oncor Electric Delivery, no. DC-21-02693, 95th District Court, Dallas County, Texas.
Watts Guerra, Fears Nachawati and Parker Waichman have represented clients in injury lawsuits for decades. If you or someone you know is interested in filing a Texas Power Outage lawsuit, please call 1-800-800-4499 or visit the firms’ Texas Power Outage website at https://www.texaspowerfailure2021lawsuit.com.
Source: EIN Presswire