A Dallas court of appeals has paved the way for dozens of lawsuits against ERCOT, operator of Texas’ power grid, to proceed.

A group of attorneys based in the Lake Highlands area — who are involved in many of those suits — say they are eager to get justice for their clients.

The Fears Nachawati law firm, located in the Fair Oaks/Vickery Meadow area, represents a number of Texas residents who died during the February 2021 freeze and power outages, as well as property owners who suffered extensive losses.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision, which brings us one step closer to obtaining justice,” partner Majed Nachawati says.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed a previous ruling from a lower court that granted ERCOT immunity to civil litigation.

“The supreme court has not extended sovereign immunity to a purely private entity neither chartered nor created by the state, and this court will not create new precedent by extending sovereign immunity to ERCOT,” Justice Erin Nowell wrote in the opinion. 

Nachawati says that — while the 12-1 decision faces review by the Supreme Court of Texas — the court made it clear Wednesday “that ERCOT’s immunity claim has no basis in Texas law.”

Litigators at Fears Nachawati said in a statement that they aim to hold ERCOT and Texas power providers accountable for deaths and damages caused during the 2021 winter storm. At least 246 Texas residents reportedly died as a direct result of outages during the storm, and likely more.

“The power companies made billions with the support of our corrupt politicians and must be held accountable by the civil justice system and should be indicted for their conduct that resulted in hundreds of deaths and unnecessary suffering to millions of taxpaying Texas citizens,” Nachawati said. “We look forward to getting justice for these individuals and remain hopeful that state and federal prosecutors will hold the power companies and corrupt politicians accountable in the criminal justice system as well.”

Wednesday’s ruling in Panda Power Generation v. ERCOT is not directly related to the blackout, but it speaks to similar claims made by ERCOT in response to the blackout-related lawsuits, the lawyers said.

To this day, the functionality of the Texas power grid remains questionable.

“The public demands accountability and we all must do our part to eliminate corruption and greed that harms everyone,” Nachawati says.