Saturday, October 23, 2021

Court of Appeals Temporarily Halts Proceedings Against LUMA Energy

By on July 13, 2021

SAN JUAN — The Puerto Rico Court of Appeals temporarily put on hold proceedings held in a lower court where a lawsuit against LUMA Energy was filed by a House committee chair to request information relating to the company’s first month of operations, among other issues of growing public interest.

The court of appeals order postpones district court proceedings in which lawyers representing Rep. Luis Raúl Torres had asked to find LUMA in contempt for not complying with a series of documents listed in the information request.

Among the many items listed for disclosure are internal communications between several parties involved in LUMA’s contract to control critical components of Puerto Rico’s power grid since June 1.

The appellate court gave the House committee until July 19 to present its position regarding LUMA’s petition for the case to be moved from the district court.

Lawyers representing the House of Representatives filed a motion on Monday to find the company in contempt.

LUMA took over the transmission and distribution system of Puerto Rico’s power grid but has been mired in controversy due to an explosion in a San Juan electric power command center and substation that left practically the entire island in the dark, as well as subsequent blackouts that raised questions about its management and credibility.

District Judge Anthony Cuevas Ramos denied a motion filed by LUMA to reconsider his verdict that ordered the company to comply with the information request filed by the Committee on Economic Development, Planning, Telecommunications, Public-Private Partnerships and Energy, which Rep. Torres chairs.

LUMA had tried to move the case before U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who oversees the proceedings of the commonwealth’s debt restructuring, but the request was denied.

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