Broken Gas Main Causes Fire in Building


This case involves a cracked gas main under a  building. The building, located in a city on the West Coast, had a number of gas lines running through the building. Underneath the building, however, a gas main was cracked, which caused gas to leak into the apartment building’s basement. The accumulation of gas eventually caused an explosion, and the apartment building caught on fire, burning to the ground and charring a number of neighboring buildings. Many of the residents of the building were burned, and they brought suit against the gas company, which had been recently noted as negligent when it attempted to underpay its royalties earlier that year.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What, if any, claims can be brought against the gas company?
  • 2. Was the gas company in control of the gas main at the time of the explosion?

Expert Witness Response E-000721

In cases like this, the first determination is whether, at the time of the accident, the gas main was under the control of the gas company. There are a number of safety measures that a gas company must comply with in order to meet regulatory standards. Gas mains need to be tested and examined on a semi-regular basis to discover any potential issues or problems that may exist. If the gas company was negligent in their examinations, then they may be culpable for the harm done to the residents.

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