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Workers clear snow from a parking lot in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. Blackouts triggered by frigid weather have spread to more than four million homes and businesses across the central U.S. and extended into Mexico in a deepening energy crisis that's already crippled the Texas power grid. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg Workers clear snow from a parking lot in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.  Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg

The Texas utility responsible for shutting off power to millions of Texas residents last week during a record winter storm now faces at least two lawsuits claiming negligence in its failure to prepare for the state’s power needs. The lawsuits both seek punitive damages against the Austin-based Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc., or ERCOT, which operates 90 percent of the state’s power grid. They claim the utility did not prepare residents for possible rolling blackouts and failed to winterize electrical equipment.

One lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Harris County District Court, seeks $10 million in damages on behalf of a man using medical equipment while recovering from Covid-19. Prominent plaintiffs lawyer Mikal Watts of Watts Guerra in San Antonio filed the second lawsuit in Nueces County Court at Law.

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