Over 100 Years Combined Experience Representing Individuals and Workers Injured in Construction Accidents and Gas Exposions
Breakstone, White & Gluck has represented individuals and workers after gas explosions, construction accidents, fires and serious burn injuries. We recently recovered $7.5 million for the family of an electrician who died in a tragic propane gas explosion in Norfolk, Massachusetts.
If you or a loved one have been injured, it is important to learn your rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us today toll-free at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Causes of Propane Gas Explosions
Natural and propane gases are both powerful, odorless fuels which are used for a number of purposes, including home heating, water heating, cooking and barbecue grills. These gases must be handled with care according to industry safety regulations.
Propane is typically delivered in pressurized tanks. As a gas, it is much heavier than air and will pool along the floor and in low areas. When a leak occurs, propane is highly flammable and can be easily ignited by fire, smoking materials, electric sparks or static electricity. Because it is odorless, it uses a chemical additive, ethyl mercaptan, which emits a “rotten eggs” odor when there is a leak, warning those in the area to evacuate.
Propane gas explosions can occur anywhere propane is improperly handled, including private homes, commercial buildings and construction sites. Many propane explosions happen on construction sites. They can occur when piping is not tightened, when there is a leak, when a company fails to follow safety regulations or when there is a defect with the chemical additive.
In some cases, victims have no warning before a propane explosion because they never smell the chemical odorant. The odorant may never have been added to a gas or may have lost its scent, a condition known as “odorant fade.” With propane gas, odorant fade can result when a delivery company does not properly fill the tank to capacity and when a new propane tank is not properly treated, leaving it with moisture and rust.
Natural Gas Explosions
Natural gas, which primarily consists of methane, is delivered to homes and businesses through underground gas lines. Leaks leading to explosions can occur when gas appliances, heating systems and water heaters break. But more often, they occur when aging underground pipelines are not maintained or are struck by construction work.
Like propane, natural gas uses a chemical odorant as a safety precaution to assist in the detection of leaks. Odorant fade – when gas loses the additive’s scent – can also occur in natural gas.
With natural gas, odorant fade can occur during periods of low gas flow through the pipeline. When new pipes are not properly conditioned, a process called adsorption can also occur and strip the gas of its odor.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Propane and Natural Gas Explosions
Numerous parties may be liable for explosions, including the gas supplier, tank manufacturer, delivery company and contractors such as heating and air conditioning companies.
Contact an Experienced Boston Explosion Lawyer
Gas explosions always cause serious injuries , and often cause wrongful death . If an individual survives, he or she may suffer severe burns , broken bones and lifelong physical and emotional injuries . A victim may suffer a prolonged and permanent disability and be unable to maintain any type of employment. If you were injured, you may be entitled to compensatory damages, including medical bills, lost earnings, loss of affection, emotional and psychological injuries, physical pain and suffering and other expenses. In wrongful death cases, family members may be awarded punitive damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured , it is critical to contact an experienced Boston explosion lawyer. A lawyer can conduct an immediate investigation, preserve evidence and promptly speak to witnesses. It may be necessary to obtain a court order to preserve evidence. Massachusetts has a Statute of Limitations which restricts how long you have to file a claim.
If you have been injured, contact us today at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.