Rockaways homeowners take LIPA, National Grid to court

July 03, 2013 08:30AM

The Long Island Power Authority and National Grid contributed to the immense damage experienced by the Rockaways during Hurricane Sandy by failing to cut off power in a timely manner, according to a new lawsuit filed by homeowners, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The effects of previous storms such as Hurricane Irene should have alerted LIPA and the National Grid to the vulnerability of the Rockaways, the lawsuit alleges. Homes were at risk to catch fire because of the “corrosive effects of salt water on live electrical wires,” the suit, filed Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court, states.

“Electricity and salt water is a deadly combination, we would have thought the power companies knew this already,” Keith Sullivan, an attorney for the 120 homeowners, told the Journal in a statement. He added that his clients suffered damage in excess of $80 million, and none had yet been able to rebuild.

LIPA and National Grid denied any wrongdoing. “The actions taken during Sandy were reasonable and appropriate, and we do not believe the claims have merit,” the companies said in separate statements. [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani