The family of Cristian Pavón-Piñeda, an 11-year-old boy who died last Tuesday amid winter storms that shook Texas and left millions in subfreezing cold without power, has filed a lawsuit against utility providers seeking $100 million.
Cristian's mother, María Piñeda, told Telemundo Houston that the family awoke on Tuesday to find the boy in his bed, apparently unresponsive. He was confirmed dead later that afternoon by medical staff in Conroe.
The family of five had been without electricity for two days, and the temperature in their mobile home dipped as low as 10 degrees overnight Monday into Tuesday morning.
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As NBC affiliate KPRC reported, investigators have said they are still trying to determine Cristian's cause of death. They said an autopsy has been completed, but they are awaiting the results of other tests before making a determination. They said a carbon monoxide test in the home was negative.
The family is suing Entergy Texas, a utility company serving areas north of Houston, and the nonprofit Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) for damages. The family is accusing Entergy and ERCOT of failing to warn people of a hazard, providing inaccurate and incomplete advice and information to customers and participating in and contributing to acts that caused the incident in question, among other things, KPRC reported. Houston attorney Tony Buzbee is representing the family.
ERCOT told Telemundo Houston it had not yet reviewed the lawsuit. Entergy said in a written statement: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community. We are unable to comment due to pending litigation.”
Cristian moved to the U.S. from Honduras two years ago. His grandparents and other relatives who still live in Honduras are now waiting for his body to be repatriated so he can be buried there.