KATY, Texas – At 83-years-old, James Thomas Jones was a beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather.
He was a former technician who worked in the oil industry and a man who battled COPD, a serious lung ailment that required for him to breathe with the help of an electric respirator.
During Houston’s historic winter storm last month, the Katy home that James lived in with his daughter and son-in-law lost power and later Jones eventually died.
“CenterPoint Energy did not plan properly for this power outage, and CenterPoint did not care,” said Benny Agosto Jr., attorney for Jones’ family.
“They had the control and the ability to control the distribution of power over our area and they did not do that, and because of that Mr. Jones is no longer with us,” Agosto Jr. said.
Now, Pamela Bunkley, Jones’ daughter, and her husband are suing CenterPoint Energy for wrongful death.
They say, from the night of Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. to Feb. 16 at 10 p.m., Jones, his daughter and her husband lost power for 24-hours straight.
During that time, there was no electricity to power James’ respirator and he became weaker and weaker from the lack of oxygen.
James’ family scrambled to make do by recharging a portable respirator through their car battery, but even that would only work for a short time, while James simply got weaker and more desperate.
By 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 17, the family said James was slowly dying from lack of oxygen, so his family rushed him to the hospital where he died just a short time later.
Now, James’ daughter Pamela is suing CenterPoint Energy for more than a million dollars, claiming the company caused her father’s death.