According to an order just filed on May 30, all Hurricane Sandy-related litigation brought against the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and/or National Grid now pending, as well as all subsequent filed actions, will be consolidated into one action before the Supreme Court, County of Nassau. The national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, has been designated as Co-Lead Counsel and is a member of the newly adopted Plaintiffs Steering Committee.
Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc up and down the Eastern seaboard. Billions of dollars in property damage were recorded and Long Island and Manhattan sustained severe damage from strong winds, heavy rains, and storm surges. Sandy made landfall on October 29 in southern New Jersey and northern Delaware as a Category 1 hurricane, a part of the country not normally affected by direct hurricane landfalls. Even before Sandy made landfall, its torrential rains and strong winds combined to create record storm surges that helped batter the coastline initially, knocking out electricity for millions. The storm eventually “morphed” into a Nor’easter, which locals are more accustomed to occurring on an almost annual basis, but not to the scale of this storm, hence earning the name Superstorm Sandy.
Many criticized LIPA for not moving swiftly to return power to the hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders crippled by Superstorm Sandy. In fact, many remained without power for weeks after the storm left the eastern seaboard.
All consolidated litigations arise from the effects of Hurricane Sandy in which billions of dollars in losses were reported due to the damage and destruction of thousands of homes and structures on Long Island, as well as prolonged power outages throughout the region. The various complaints allege that LIPA and/or National Grid neglected to properly prepare for the storm. Court documents also indicate that the defendants failed to adequately warn their customers, did not establish a proper emergency management system, failed to maintain power distribution equipment, and breached their contract with their customers to provide adequate service.
“This consolidation is helpful based on the commonalities of the plaintiff’s allegations,” said Peter J. Cambs Sr., Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. “We believe Parker Waichman LLP will be an asset as well, based on our extensive proven track record handling both class action litigation and complex litigation.” Cambs added that the proposed structure with co-lead counsels will also help minimize redundancies and ensure a consistent strategy is maintained to best serve the interests of the victims.
The action is under index no. 602288/2012 entitled In Re Long Island Power Authority Hurricane Sandy Litigation.