A lawsuit filed against CenterPoint by Rob Ammons alleging negligent failure to timely repair a dangerous gas leak has been concluded. Suit was brought against the utility provider after vapors in a Stafford, Texas, apartment building unit explosively ignited, causing a Texas man to suffer serious burns. The man will be compensated an undisclosed amount.
Ammons shares that for weeks prior to the explosion, residents in the area had reported the smell of natural gas. CenterPoint acknowledges being notified of the smell by at least September 9, 2015, and that, in responding to the notice, an outside leak on property adjacent to the apartment building in question was identified. Rather than shutting off the gas until repairs could be made, however, CenterPoint personnel simply put in a request for the repair.
Two days later, as the man was cooking in the kitchen of his apartment, an explosive blaze suddenly erupted, and he was burned before he could escape the flames. Arson investigators determined the fire was caused by a cooking appliance igniting flammable natural gas vapors.
It was only after the gas explosion that the pipeline that was leaking was shut down through manual “squeezing off,” an action that if taken by CenterPoint upon its discovery of the leak would have prevented the incident.
Ammons contended that CenterPoint was derelict in its duty to follow safety rules regarding leak repair. The lawsuit alleged that CenterPoint’s negligence caused the explosion and the resulting injuries to the man.
Specifically, the man suffered burns to his neck, upper back, shoulders and upper arms in the fire, as well as the effects of brief smoke inhalation. In escaping the apartment through glass patio doors which had broken in the explosion, he also suffered lacerations to his right hand/arm and right knee. Over $122,000 in medical expenses were incurred to treat his injuries.
“The universal rule is that a company is never allowed to endanger the community,” says Ammons, “but if it does and someone is injured as a result, the company is responsible for that harm.”
The Ammons Law Firm has a nationwide personal injury practice focusing on tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, consumer protection and product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, air bag defects and plant explosions.