LIPA Faces Lawsuit in the Wake of Sandy

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LIPA worker works on power lines

LIPAnews, Flickr

Criticism of LIPA's post-storm response reaches a head.

While the Long Island Power Authority says most Long Islanders who can have their power restored will have it restored soon, that hasn't stopped a class action lawsuit from being filed against the utility.

The suit -- filed Tuesday -- claims negligence, breach of contract, and fraud. The Attorney heading up the lawsuit, Kenneth Mollins, says it's about making sure LIPA is held accountable for any wrongdoings.

He says LIPA needs to be completely transparent with its post-Sandy response, “we're bringing this suit, number one for damages, but number two, and more importantly, for accountability. We want to be able to go through their books.”

He also did not close the door on possible criminal action. Claiming the mismanagement was “so vile and so wrong,” that prosecution could be potentially pursued.

Jason Abelove of Oceanside, New York has been without power for more than two weeks. He is a plaintiff in the suit and says it’s not about money, “to the extent that I personally get any money from this lawsuit, I'm going to donate it to the victims of the hurricane. I'm doing this because I really think someone needs to hold LIPA accountable.”

National Grid, LIPA's contractor, is also named in the suit. National Grid says they are aware of the lawsuit, but continue to focus on helping those still in need. LIPA has not responded to our request for comment.
 

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