LIPA faces class action lawsuit - New York News

LIPA faces class action lawsuit

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The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and National Grid are facing a class action lawsuit.

They are accused of breach of contract, gross negligence and fraud for their response to power outages caused by Sandy.

The lawyer filing the suit says the utility companies were unprepared, mismanaged and grossly negligent in their restoration attempts after Sandy.

The suit, unveiled at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon in Melville, claims that simple precautionary steps may have prevented long term outages.

Attorney Kenneth Mollins says:  "There is no communication from LIPA.  People are being threatened that failure to sign hold harmless agreements will result in no power and thousands of crews brought in from out of state are babysitting power lines and told not to touch.  Lack of coordination and the failure to prioritization is not acceptable and lack of oversight is even more distressful."

Gov. Cuomo says that he is going to conduct his own investigation in the response by power companies across New York.

The president of Long Island Electric Transmission & Distribution Services for National Grid says the company has done everything that it could do.

John Bruckner says, "I feel we were prepared.  We were prepared for the storm.  We were certainly challenged."

LIPA provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and Queens.

LIPA owns the grid. National Grid manages it.

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