Class Action Lawsuit to Proceed Against LIPA Over Hurricane Sandy Damages

The Appellate Division of New York State’s Supreme Court has ordered a class action against the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and National Grid for damages sustained due to Hurricane Sandy to proceed towards trial.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of those individuals who have suffered damages or harm due to the negligence of others, is commenting on a recent court ruling involving a class action lawsuit it brought against Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and its former management services provider, National Grid Electric Services, LLC. Filed on behalf of LIPA customers who were damaged as a result of LIPA’s handling of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the December 30, 2015 order issued by the Appellate Division of New York’s Supreme Court in Brooklyn denied LIPA’s motion to dismiss. The action will now proceed forward to trial. The lawsuit was filed by Jerrold S. Parker and Peter J. Cambs of Parker Waichman LLP; Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP; Wolf Popper LLP; and Douglas & London, P.C. The title of the case is Matter of Long Island Power Authority Hurricane Sandy Litigation, Docket No. 2014-04047 [Index No. 601434/13 (Nassau County)]

Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern coast of the United States, hitting Long Island on October 29, 2012, and causing severe damage, including extended power outages. The class action lawsuit seeks damages for breach of contract as well as injunctive relief. On April 1, 2014, the motion court in Nassau County denied the application of LIPA and National Grid to dismiss the action before trial. LIPA and National Grid appealed this decision.

Now, the Appellate Division has affirmed the action of the Nassau County court denying LIPA/National Grid’s motion to dismiss. According to the Appellate Division, the class of injured plaintiffs was properly certified, meeting all statutory prerequisites. The order also rejected the argument of LIPA and National Grid that plaintiffs were not meant to benefit from the agreement between the two energy companies for servicing Long Island’s power needs. This was so even though the agreement stated, in “boilerplate” language, that it would not benefit third-parties like plaintiffs. Instead, the four-judge appellate panel found that other provisions in the agreement could be read as contradicting that “Å“boilerplate” language, making the allegations by LIPA and National Grid inconclusive. Any remaining arguments by LIPA and National Grid were rejected as “without merit.”

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