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LUMA has been in the hot seat since taking over Puerto Rico's power grid. Photo: Getty Images.
LUMA has been in the hot seat since taking over Puerto Rico's power grid. Photo: Getty Images.

Four food chain corporations in Puerto Rico sue Luma Energy for failure to perform job

Four corporations that manage food chains in Puerto Rico have sued the electric company Luma Energy.

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Four fast food chain-managing corporations in Puerto Rico have filed a lawsuit against Luma Energy for failing to perform their responsibilities.

The class action lawsuit is the first to hit Luma Energy. The four corporations to sue Luma Energy report they are doing so on behalf of vendors and business owners based on the island.

The four corporations — Wendco of Puerto Rico, Restaurant Operators, MultiSystem Restaurant, and Apple Caribe — represent Wendy’s, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, and Sizzler.

Last year, Luma Energy took over Puerto Rico’s power transmission and distribution services. They were chosen to do so by Puerto Rican officials in 2020.

Since then, the company has tried to remedy blackouts that have been occurring on the island since 2017, following Hurricane Maria’s destruction of Puerto Rico’s power grid.

Hurricane Maria caused striking damage to the island’s power grid, which was considered outdated prior. Immediately following the hurricane was the island’s second worst blackout.

Despite $12 billion in aid from the Puerto Rican government to restore the energy sector, the job of repairing the power grid has yet to start.

Luma Energy is still combating outages. Just as recently as last month, the company addressed, then worked to rectify an outage event.

The event — an overnight fire at a major power plant — left 1.2 million people without power the following day. The worst blackout of the year, it took four days to restore the power.

Many are unsatisfied with Luma Energy’s overall performance since taking responsibility last year. This is worsened by electricity prices requiring Puerto Ricans to pay twice as much than U.S. customers.

The current legal action is an escalation of the long-standing resident dissatisfaction with the private energy company.

Together, the four corporations are seeking $310 million in damages: said to cover an estimate of the losses businesses faced on April 6. 

In a statement shared with NBC News, Luma Energy cited the “neglect and lack of maintenance under the past operator” as the cause of Puerto Rico’s poor power grid.

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