Liability for Residential Gas Explosion Injury
The presence of household gas in most residences is usually taken for granted. It is there, in tank form or coming in through a pipe, fueling heaters, boilers, dryers, ovens, and so on. But the potential for danger in having such explosive material in the home seldom occurs to anyone until an accident happens. An explosion injury can be devastating, not to mention the damage to property, but who is liable?
Residential gas explosions happen for a variety of reasons. Recent natural gas explosions in several states were traced to leaks from aging and poorly maintained pipelines which had originally been lain half a century ago. Between 2005 and 2009, there have been 14 deaths and 51 injuries reported from 282 incidents of pipeline explosions. There have been some initiatives to improve the safety of these pipelines that feed into homes and residential buildings, but it is slow going.
Other residential gas leaks that have been reported involve poorly-maintained and improperly placed propane tanks. Gas companies who install and refill these tanks have the responsibility to ensure that they are properly housed and maintained. In one incident, the gas company overfilled the tanks, which were already in poor condition, and the gas leaked, causing an explosion.
For residential buildings where there is a landlord or a building administrator, gas lines should be regularly inspected and regulated by certified professionals. It is the responsibility of the building manager to ensure that this is done.
Liability for a residential gas explosion injury or death depends on the type of household gas used, type of residence, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. If you believe that the residential gas explosion that injured you occurred due to the negligence of the professionals who are supposed to ensure the safety of pipelines and tanks, then you should sue. Consult with an explosion injury lawyer who is experienced in dealing with residential gas leak explosions and see if you are eligible to recover damages.