I have been blogging lately about gas explosions. That’s because gas explosions keep happening! As I said in my last few blogs about this topic, our natural gas supply system, owned and maintained by private utility companies, is aging and not being properly maintained and replaced by those companies. As a result, we are seeing an increase, nationwide, in natural gas explosions. Just a few weeks ago a main gas line explosion rocked Philadelphia, killing at least one person and severely injuring others. And last fall, a main gas pipeline explosion in California destroyed 38 homes, injured 50 and killed eight people.
But gas explosions strike closer to home, too. This week a house exploded in Horseheads, NY. According to Elmira New York personal injury lawyer Jim Read, preliminary indications indicate the cause was a natural gas leak. Also according to Jim, the house is less than 1/2 mile from another house that exploded because of a natural gas leak in a NYSEG service pipe a few years ago.
Also, just this week, the parents of one of the victims (a 20-year old college student) of the Fall 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in California filed a wrongful death lawsuit against an (ir)responsible utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Their daughter died from the horrific burns she received while trying to escape the blaze in her home caused by the explosion. In the lawsuit, her parents are claiming the defendant PG&E failed to properly inspect and maintain the pipeline.
There has been a lot of talk about “tort reform”. But so-called “tort-reformers” should ask themselves this question (and honestly answer it): If your 20-year old daughter died a horrific death by fire because a utility company decided to increase its profit margins by cutting gas pipe maintenance costs, would you sue? And if you sued, would you expect any fair system of justice to compensate you fully for your daughter’s pain and suffering and your grief and loss? If your answer is “yes”, then you should think again about “tort reform”.
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Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels Bersani Kalabanka