Lubbock City Council will at least consider paying damage claims related to the city-wide power outages of July 21 and July 23. On the Thursday City Council agenda is an item to "Hold an executive session … about pending or contemplated litigation or settlement … regarding claims related to electric power outages."
So far the City has 41 claims for damaged electronics or appliances related to the first outage and 56 claims for the second outage. The City Manager says the dollar value of the claims is still under investigation.
Mayor Glen Robertson says officials at first thought a legal defense known as sovereign immunity would apply. Sovereign immunity means you can't sue with government without the government's permission. Robertson says the city won't use it.
Instead he turns to something called the rate tariff, which is a fancy term for customer agreement. He says, "The rate tariff states neither LP&L nor the city is responsible for outages except gross negligence."
"Some want to waive defenses," Robertson says. He's heard from other members of the City Council that there's a difference between doing what's legal and doing what's right. Although the issue comes up for discussion on Thursday, there is no promise of a final decision at the meeting.
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