EXPLOSION CAUSED BY RUPTURED GAS LINE – ATTORNEYS MINNESOTA
In February 2010, there were two house explosions with fines later levied against two gas companies. Fortunately, in both cases, no one was in the home at the time of the explosion. Had there been anyone in either house, they would have been killed in the explosion or severely burned. Our lawyers are able to pursue a gas explosion case against the utility company or another party that causes the explosion.
In the first case, a home in St. Paul burned to the ground after a sewer contractor accidentally ruptured a gas line that ran through a sewer line. Northern States Power unintentionally had bored the gas line through the sewer line in what is known as a cross bore. After the rupture, natural gas flowed into a nearby home and ignited. The contractor suffered first-degree burns, which were not serious, and warned the homeowner, who was not injured.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s pipeline safety office required NSP to inspect thousands of Minnesota sewer lines for similar cross bores — in which a gas line is unknowingly bored through a sewer line — in St. Paul and South St. Paul. The company has since inspected and cleared 53,471 addresses and plans to inspect 20,000 more by 2014. A gas leak can be very dangerous, and contractors have to be careful not to puncture a gas line. If they do, there will be property damage and possibly severe injury to innocent bystanders. Our lawyers are able to pursue a claim against the contractor where they have created a gas line puncture and explosion.
NSP’s initial fine of $1 million was reduced to $20,000 after the Public Safety Department discovered the company had “procedures for analyzing accidents and failures so the company could minimize recurrence of cross bores,” according to the agency.
In the second explosion, the agency initially fined Center Pointe Energy $1 million for a delayed response to a house explosion in Edina. A telephone-line contractor hit a gas line next to an unmarked, unused line. The rupture sent gas underground into a nearby home, which was ignited. Again, no one was injured in the blast because luckily the homeowners were working and their children were in school.
The gas company didn’t shut a nearby emergency valve because it would have cut off service to 266,000 customers, instead taking more time to manually squeeze off the line closer to the rupture. Since the accident, the company has installed 78 new valves and created new engineering standards for installation of new valves.
GAS EXPLOSION LAWYER
If you or a family member has been injured in a gas explosion because of a ruptured gas line, or any other cause, call our office to discuss your potential case with an experienced personal injury attorney. Our attorneys have experience with gas explosion cases and understand the injuries involved. Our top gas explosion lawyers can also assist your investigation and understanding of the cause, and we have our own investigator as well.
Pam Rochlin is a Minnesota Personal Injury Super Lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience representing people injured in all kinds of accidents, including gas explosions. She is a former partner at Meshbesher and Spence, and was the 2015 president of Minnesota Women Lawyers. A gas explosion lawyer will meet with you to discuss your case at our office in Edina, Minneapolis, Woodbury or St. Louis Park. An attorney will also meet you at your home or hospital to discuss your gas explosion case in St. Paul, Roseville, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth MN, Chanhassen, Chaska, Lakeville, Burnsville, and other cities throughout Minnesota. The initial consultation is free and we never charge anything unless we get you compensation.