Perhaps you’ve read about a Montgomery County couple’s effort to gin up a class-action suit against PEPCO for failing to get the power back on sooner after the Jan. 14 ice storm. It’s about time somebody stood up for the 400,000 people who were left in the dark by PEPCO’s ill-preparedness. Of course, D.C. citizens who live under streetlights so lousy that it feels as if the power’s always out might be tempted to experience a bit of Schadenfreude, but that would be unneighborly. We only hope that David and Marlo Sims, who are out $200 worth of spoiled groceries, bring PEPCO to their knees. They shouldn’t have any trouble locating co-plaintiffs: Montgomery County has almost as many lawyers per square foot as K Street. Here’s a preview of how the class action might shape up:
Underlying LogicPEPCO failed to ameliorate an act of God that was without precedent in the past 50 years.
DamagesLost frozen veal shanks for upcoming soirees. Entire wine cellars compromised by fluctu-ating temperatures. Several long-scheduled cocktail parties had to go off by candlelight.
Psychological DistressMany residents had to settle for second-tier hotels because Class A rooms filled up so quickly. A number of families experienced post-traumatic shock after first expo-sure to Super 8’s towering lack of basic hotel amenities.
Failure to CommunicatePEPCO did not adequately field calls from the hundreds of thousands of people bitch-ing about why their neighbors had power and they didn’t.
Mental Anguish”It was like living in the Third World, except it wasn’t quite as dirty,” said Meg Fiefield of Chevy Chase, Md.
Duration of the InjuryOne, two, three, and sometimes as long as five, count ’em, five days. Never mind that people in neighboring P.G. County have a school system that hasn’t functioned in two decades. Five days can be a living hell when you are slicing and dicing by hand while the Cuisinart all but mocks you from the shelf.
Other TortsMany Montgomery County residents were forced to communicate with, and, in some particularly horrifying cases, rely on, their neighbors. David Carr