KEY POINTS

  • Cristian Pineda was found dead on Feb. 16 in his family's mobile home that had no power for two days
  • The family filed a lawsuit against ERCOT, the grid operator, and Entergy, the energy company
  • The boy's relatives believe that the boy died of hypothermia
  • The cause of his death has not been revealed

The family of a Texas boy who died of suspected hypothermia during the winter storm on Tuesday has filed a $100 million lawsuit against power company Entergy and grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), citing gross negligence.

Cristian Pineda, 11, was found dead on Feb. 16 in his family's frigid mobile home in Conroe after it lost power for two days.

The family believes that Pineda died of hypothermia although the cause of his death is not yet revealed by the medical examiners, reported news outlet CBS News. According to the investigators, the carbon monoxide test in the home came back negative.

The boy was sleeping under a pile of blankets along with his 3-year-old stepbrother as the family huddled in one room to stay warm on Monday night. The boy's mother, Maria Elisa Pineda, found him unresponsive when she tried to wake him up Tuesday afternoon.

"Common sense tells you the weather played a part in his death," Tony Buzbee, the family's attorney, said as per local news outlet Click2Houston. "His mother is very adamant, clear that he had no underlying conditions whatsoever that would make him particularly vulnerable to cold weather."

The family accuses the energy company of not providing its customers adequate warning, advice and information. According to Buzbee, the company was aware that they did not have the capacity and had not winterized their sources of power.

"And other suits will come," Buzbee said. "These decisions, which led to deaths, were made based on profit, not welfare of people. People died. ERCOT and the electrical providers like Entergy must account."

Entergy said in a statement that they are unable to comment due to pending litigation and they are "deeply saddened by the loss of life" in the community.

"We haven't yet reviewed the lawsuits and will respond accordingly once we do. Our thoughts are with all Texans who 'have and are' suffering due to this past week. However, because approximately 46% of privately-owned generation tripped offline this past Monday morning, we are confident that our grid operators made the right choice to avoid a state wide blackout," ERCOT said in a news release.

Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Ron Jenkins