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Utility Worker Gets Beat Up by Resident Angry Over Electricity Delay; NY Residents File Class Action Lawsuit Against LIPA

After weeks without power, residents on Long Island are taking their frustrations into their own hands ... but in a couple of very different ways.

When electrical worker John Applewhite decided to come up to New York from Florida to help with the efforts taking place, he most likely never anticipated what his efforts would get him ... that is, a hospital bed. Applewhite says he had been working 16-hour days when he was attacked by a resident angered over the length of time it's taking to restore power to the area. He's recovering from a broken jaw and cracked cheek bone after the citizen punched him in the face.

"He gave me no signs of anything

aggressive," said Applewhite. "He was in a nice vehicle, he was dressed fairly nice..."

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  • Still, Applewhite says the jarring event won't be enough to stop him from helping out. "I enjoy what I do and I'm not going to let one person spoil that for me. I enjoy helping people."

    On the flip-side, a group of frustrated residents have filed a class action lawsuit against the power company responsible for restoring electricity to their neighborhoods - LIPA, or Long Island Power Authority.

    Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl weighed in, saying she "likes" the decision to take legal action on a larger scale. "...If you try to sue by yourself bit by bit, you're going to be shoved to the side," she said.

    Wiehl said that while the suit will likely allege that LIPA is using an antiquated system and should have known for years that they could have been better prepared but made no effort, the company undoubtedly will fire back. "LIPA will say it was the storm of the century," she said, adding that they'll repel blame by saying they have limited indemnity in the matter.

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