NY Man Wages War Against Con Ed, Wants It Banned

Robert Prignoli sues power company for $500M in wake of Sandy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2013 11:32 AM CST
In this Oct. 31, 2012 photo, a tree in Jersey City, NJ, lies tangled in power lines after being brought down by high winds from Superstorm Sandy.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

(Newser) – Robert Prignoli's Staten Island home was not damaged during Superstorm Sandy; its basement didn't flood; and there were no downed power lines in his neighborhood, thanks to the fact that they're underground. Yet he was still without power for 17 days, while nearly everyone else on his block saw their power restored within two. During his ordeal, Con Edison gave him six different dates when the power would be back, and multiple reasons for the delay. Now he wants $500 million from the utility company—and his lawsuit also calls for Con Ed to be banned from operating in New York, DNAinfo reports.

"Con Edison does not deserve to be in the electric power supply business since it is inept at every level," Prignoli said in an affidavit, adding that the company has left him in "extended electric blackout conditions" at least once per year ever since he moved into the house in 2004. The lawsuit accuses Con Ed of gross negligence, and it also targets parent company National Grid USA and the state's Public Service Commission. Prignoli hopes to get class-action status so other customers can participate. (Read more Hurricane Sandy stories.)

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