The Long Island Power Authority has sued PSEG-Long Island for $70 million over the utility company’s poor response to widespread outages after Tropical Storm Isaias during the summer.
LIPA says PSEG Long Island’s response to Isaias was “grossly negligent,” and amounts to breach of contract.
The lawsuit targets PSEG Long Island’s outage management system. It says many of the restoration problems that left hundreds of thousands of customers in the dark could have been prevented
“We hired PSEG Long Island to do a job for us," said Tom Falcone, CEO at LIPA. "They were supposed to implement IT systems and telephone systems that would stand up in a storm. And those systems failed. And in our investigation, we discovered that they failed, really, because of bad management.”
Falcone said LIPA’s contract with PSEG Long Island will either be re-negotiated, or terminated. He says many of the restoration problems that left hundreds of thousands of customers in the dark could have been prevented.
“The systems were poorly managed. And these problems were avoidable," Falcone said. "We hired them to do a job. They didn't do it. And we don't think our customers should have to pay for that — we want our money back.”
PSEG Long Island said in a statement that the lawsuit is under review, and the utility has been hard at work addressing LIPA’s recommendations for improvement.