Latest News 2014 January Installation Company Sued for Death Caused by Gas Explosion

Installation Company Sued for Death Caused by Gas Explosion

The daughter of a woman killed in a gas explosion has filed a wrongful death lawsuit naming an appliance installation company, one of its employees, and others, as defendants, as reported by the Topeka Capital-Journal.

E.T. filed the suit on behalf of herself and her mother's estate. According to the suit, L.T., 81 at the time of her death, died when an employee of Factory Direct Appliance left her home after knowingly detecting a gas leak. The leak quickly resulted in an explosion and L.T.'s death.

Employee J.E. is named for breaching his duty of reasonable care as he knew, or he should have known, that the situation was dangerous for inhabitants.

Attorney Thomas Ruzicka originally filed the suit in May 2013 naming Kansas Gas Service and G.N., who does business as N-Line Lawn Service. However, on November 7, Ruzicka amended the petition to add J.E. and Factory Direct Appliance.

According to the suit L.T. died four days following an explosion that destroyed her home on January 30, 2012.

Ruzicka has another suit in regards to the same explosion filed on behalf of L.J., a neighbor of L.T., as she was also injured in the explosion. In that suit it is explained that N-Line broke a Kansas Gas pipeline while installing a lawn sprinkling system. As Kansas Gas is responsible for the operation of its underground facilities they breached their duty to protect the public from potential explosions – when they broke the pipeline.

On the day of the installation, J.E. arrived at approximately 11:03 a.m., left at 11:10 a.m. – after detecting a gas odor emitting from the basement – and the explosion occurred less than 30 minutes later, at 11:38 a.m.

The suit states that the explosion caused "serious, painful and permanent injuries and horrific conscious pain and suffering as well as damages of a physical, mental and emotional nature, for which (L.T.) underwent extensive medical care and treatment, at great cost and expense."

The attorney for J.E. and Factory Direct, Larry Pepperdine, said that J.E. arrived nearer to 10:05 a.m. and worked on L.T.'s electric range clock. Before leaving L.T.'s home both parties "noticed a very faint gas odor..."

Pepperdine contended that all injuries or damages claimed by the plaintiff were the cause of partial or full acts of negligence, and omissions – from the plaintiffs and by the defendants Kansas Gas and N-Line alone.

Pepperdine quoted Kansas State Law 60-258A in his argument, "The contributory negligence of any party in a civil action shall not bar such party or such party's legal representative from recovering damages for negligence resulting in death, personal injury, property damage or economic loss, if such party's negligence was less than the causal negligence of the party or parties against whom claim for recovery is made, but the award of damages to any party in such action shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to such party. If any such party is claiming damages for a decedent's wrongful death, the negligence of the decedent, if any, shall be imputed to such party."

No matter how many defendants you chose to name in a wrongful death lawsuit, only one has to be found liable. To figure out who to sue and what to ask for in damages, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your own case.

Categories: Explosions