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CenterPoint submits original answer to reporter's electrocution suit

Lawsuits

By John Suayan | Sep 26, 2018

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HOUSTON – A local utilities company recently answered a state district lawsuit alleging a reporter for a British newspaper was electrocuted during a hurricane last year.

Harris County District Court records show that CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC filed an original answer into Daily Mail journalist Alan Butterfield’s suit.

Butterfield claims that CenterPoint failed to shut off power to the electrical lines in a neighborhood near Brays Bayou following Hurricane Harvey’s landfall.

The submerged lines supposedly came into contact with the engine of a boat carrying Butterfield and others conducting rescue operations. The plaintiff recalls jumping into the floodwaters “in a last-ditch attempt to save himself from coming into contact” with the lines.

According to Butterfield, he was “electrocuted and severely injured” after coming into contact with the water. He then was forced to seek refuge up a nearby tree until he was rescued 24 hours later, the suit states.

CenterPoint issued a general denial to Butterfield’s claims on Sept. 10. It also reserves the right to amend its answer.

The law firm Baker Botts L.L.P. in Houston is representing the respondent.

Harris County 333rd District Court Case No. 2018-52012

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