Customers File Class-Action Suit against FPL - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Customers File Class-Action Suit against FPL

By Al Pefley  email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A lot of Florida Power and Light  customers in south Florida who lost power and shivered in the freezing cold the weekend of January 9-10 are taking FPL to court.

Attorneys for tens of thousands of FPL customers in Broward and Palm Beach County have just filed a class-action lawsuit, accusing FPL of negligence.

The lawsuit says quote: "...old, undersized or otherwise inadequate FPL transformers were incapable of handling the energy load imposed upon them..."

And although the cold temperatures were extreme,  lawyers argue  FPL should have been better prepared to  keep its equipment working.  They say scores of transformers shut down or burned out, and "FPL's attempts to address the wholesale outages were insufficient, band-aid approaches..." 

One Boynton Beach woman who lost power for three days says she and her ailing husband, who's confined to a wheelchair,  may join the class-action suit against FPL. 

"We shivered all night by candlelight.  It didn't help much. It was 29-degrees in my house. It was terrible! You know for myself, I bundled up good. I tried to bundle up my husband. He had layers and layers on. We had four blankets on him and a hat and gloves and he was still shivering," said Cicely Dorfman, a retiree from Boynton Beach.   

She says it got so cold, they finally left their home and spent the night at a hotel just to stay warm.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

FPL released a written statement in response to the lawsuit.

"This frivolous lawsuit is utterly without merit.  Our transformers are designed to meet normal weather conditions in Florida, but even under the record-setting cold weather we experienced, they held up well," said Sarah Marmion, FPL spokesperson.

The class-action lawsuit was filed by attorneys Scott Gelfand of Coral Springs and Joel Kaplan of Miami.

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