Seeking Justice in Massachusetts for Your Gas Explosion Injuries
Help for those harmed in accidents involving natural gas, propane, acetylene or any other type of gas
Boston and the surrounding areas have not been immune to the dangers of gas explosions. As far back as 1897, a gas main exploded on Tremont Street, killing six people. As recently as November 2012, a natural gas explosion in Springfield leveled a business, damaged 42 buildings and left 18 people injured. While cleaner burning than the oil and coal that powered our homes and businesses for much of the 20th century, natural gas now provides more than half of the energy needs in Massachusetts and throughout New England — and poses risks in the form of leaks, faulty propane tanks and industrial gas explosions.
As Boston personal injury attorneys at Swartz & Lynch LLP, it is our job to help people who have suffered broken bones, head and brain trauma, burn injuries and all other profound physical and emotional damage caused by a gas explosion. It is our mission to represent your best interests and help you obtain the greatest possible compensation for harm caused by the negligence of others.
Aging pipelines, poor design, defective valves and human error are all potential causes of natural gas explosions
There may be as many as 3,300 gas leaks beneath Boston’s streets, according to a Boston University study. While many of these aging, corroded and leaky pipes are being replaced, danger remains. When natural gas pipelines leak, gas can seep into closed spaces. The smallest spark can trigger an explosion, with devastating results to anybody in harm’s way.
In addition to an infrastructure that is old and in need of repair, defects and digging are often culprits in gas explosions. Those doing digging or excavation are required to call ahead to have gas line locations marked. Failure to do so, or failure to pay attention to the variance, can result in an explosion.
Liable parties in a natural gas pipeline explosion may include one or several parties, including excavators and contractors, utility companies, and manufacturers of safety valves and other gas line components.
Gas explosions cause catastrophic injuries, including:
- Severe burns
- Organ damage, limb loss and blindness caused by flying shrapnel
- Head or brain trauma
- Crushing injuries
- Wrongful death
Is your backyard gas grill an accident waiting to happen?
It is hard to beat a gas grill for convenience. Propane-fired grills start more easily, light faster and are less messy than charcoal grills do. But a summertime barbecue can quickly turn to tragedy. Many don’t realize that if the flame goes out in a gas grill, heavier-than-air propane builds up under the grill’s lid (or if the propane tanks are enclosed, in the cabinet). When relit, the trapped gas explodes, sending up flames that cause extreme fire injuries to the face or blowing out the grill’s doors, injuring lower extremities.
Outdoor grill and propane tank manufacturers and marketers have a responsibility to include instructions on the proper storage and maintenance of their products and warn about the dangers. Similarly, those who sell propane tanks owe the public a duty of care in ensuring that their tanks are safe to use. Common problems with propane tanks used for grills, mobile homes, campers, boats and home heating include:
- Faulty connectors, seals or pressure valves
- Improper tank installation
- Tank corrosion
- Clogged or defective hoses
- Other deficiencies in design or construction
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, charcoal grill fires have decreased as more of us switch to propane. However, this entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also states “Gas grills have a higher percentage of mechanical failure/malfunctions than charcoal grills.”
In addition to gas grills, home appliances and equipment that are susceptible to gas explosions, others include:
- Clothes dryers
- Gas ranges and ovens
- Water heaters
- Space heaters
- Swimming pool and spa heaters
Our lawyers hold contractors, utility companies and manufacturers of defective products liable for your gas explosion injuries
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney from Swartz & Lynch LLP to learn how we can help you get compensation for your gas explosion injuries. We have successfully helped thousands of injured people throughout Greater Boston and stand ready to fight for you. Please contact a Boston injury attorney online or call us at 857-250-0664 to set up a time to meet and discuss your needs. Home or hospital appointments can also be arranged.