Former Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez, QC, said yesterday that he intends to file a class action lawsuit against Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) over the frequent power outages that have affected residents on New Providence.
Gomez said he expects the lawsuit to be filed in about three weeks’ time and is urging Bahamians to come forward and join the effort.
“The Electricity Act of 2015, which came into force in early 2016, creates a statutory right to the supply of electricity and it enables people who are not necessarily in contract with BPL, but who are affected by the cessation of power on a regular, daily basis, to sue for any harm that has been caused,” Gomez said.
He added, “That’s the basis of the action. Now what I’m asking is for those persons who are interested in joining in to consider what they are doing in terms of just complaining to one another as opposed to taking effective action in court, which may well see an improvement which has the peace of a Supreme Court order.”
Gomez said he is in talks with several organizations and individuals about the matter.
“I’m in discussions with a number of persons,” he said.
“I’m looking at organizations such as unions, and I’m looking at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, other business associations, and I’m looking at ordinary people who need not necessarily be affiliated with any particular group. Once we start, they can always be added under the rules for whatever category of persons they represent.”
Gomez made the initial announcement in a Facebook post. He said, in that post, that it is time for Bahamians to “stand up and shake off the sense of victimhood”.
Since early June, BPL has been conducting load shedding across New Providence due to a generation shortfall.
BPL executives have promised long-term relief with the installation of a new 132-megawatt plant at the Clifton Pier Power Station.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has pledged to do whatever is necessary to solve the problem at BPL.