Lawsuit: CenterPoint Energy power surges fried home appliances

MISSOURI CITY, TX (KTRK) -- A Missouri City woman claims repeated power surges caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to appliances and electronics in her home.

"When your stuff is flickering and then you hear sizzle sounds, now you're feeling you're in danger," said Rhonda Johnson, who lives in the Hunters Glen IV neighborhood.

She says she called CenterPoint Energy at least 17 times between 2014 and late 2015 to report the issue.

"This is a nightmare," she said.

Each time, she claims, another appliance or electronic component was damaged. She says the surges damaged her stove, refrigerator, two microwaves, four televisions, washer, dryer and other items. She's not alone. Other neighbors say surges cost them appliances too.

She's a single mother, on disability and a fixed income.

"I can't afford to get this stuff, just like that, repaired and replaced," Johnson said.

Johnson tells Eyewitness News that CenterPoint has worked to address the power surges. She also had private electricians come to see if there was anything wrong inside her home. One electrician said on WEdnesday that the issue was with surges of electricity coming into the home.

Johnson says the surges appear to have stopped since September, but she claims CenterPoint has refused to repair or replace the damaged appliances and electronics. She has filed a case now in small claims court, alleging damages up to $5,000. The case is currently scheduled for mediation.

CenterPoint declined to comment specifically on this case because of the pending litigation. Spokesperson Alicia Dixon said, "... safety and reliability are our top priorities," and added, "We have made a number of improvements in this community and have been in continued communications with customers there."

The Texas Public Utilities Commission says responsibility for reimbursement would depend upon specifics of each situation. Read more about its take on liability.
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