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The Texas Supreme Court sidestepped a ruling Friday on whether the state’s embattled power grid operator that remains under fire following February’s deadly blackouts can be sued.

The 5-4 decision comes a month after one of the worst power outages in U.S. history, which left millions of people without electricity for days in subfreezing weather. More than 50 people died, a toll that authorities say will likely climb as autopsies are completed.

The ruling was criticized by Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, who called it wasting “everyone’s time” at a moment when interest is high following the storm. The question of whether the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is immune to lawsuits was raised not by the recent blackouts but by an unrelated case that has dragged on for years.

The majority ruled that they had no jurisdiction in that case, making any determination moot.

Wrongful death lawsuits have piled up since the storm, and ERCOT faces an overhaul from state lawmakers. Outgoing CEO Bill Magness has claimed the outages were necessary to avert an event more catastrophic blackout that could have lasted for months.

Magness was fired, and several ERCOT board members have also resigned.



Many of us will be getting the third “stimulus” check from the US Treasury as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act signed by the President on March 10th. People who qualify (those who earn less than $75,000.00 for singles and $150,000 for married people who filed their taxes jointly), will get $1400.00 per person. That can add up to a lot of money for families!!

But, if you owe money to creditors, some of those that you owe may be able to garnish (seize) it right away. Which ones can get it and which cannot?

Who cannot get the money? Someone you owe for child support, and tax debts owed to the IRS.

Who can get the money and seize your bank account once the money comes in? Anyone else you owe, called “private debts”. So if there’s a lawsuit against you for unpaid credit card, medical debt, or damages from a car accident, these creditors can freeze your bank account and take the money.

The COVID-19 pandemic has damaged the economy, leaving many families and business owners worried about how they will pay for even the most basic expenses. In the midst of this crisis, you might be considering filing for bankruptcy or wondering how COVID-19 will affect an existing bankruptcy filing.

Chicago Bankruptcy Law Firm of Daniel J. Winter



A Georgia man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for setting fire to a Savannah city government office building.

Stephen Charles Setter, 19, was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge after pleading guilty to a charge of arson, federal prosecutors said in a news release. In his plea, Setter admitted to setting a blaze that destroyed the city’s code enforcement office last year on May 3.

Setter also told the court he had activated a fire alarm at a local marina that same night to draw firefighters away from their station. He said that allowed him to slip into the station and steal a radio, which he used to listen to fire department communications.

The fire at the code enforcement office spread to the attic and the roof. The building was declared a total loss with damage estimated at nearly $1 million. The fire was set late at night, when the building was unoccupied. No one was injured.

In addition to the prison sentence, the judge ordered Setter to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

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