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Propane Gas Explosion Cases

 

Peer v. SD Propane Distributor (South Dakota)

Facts: The clients sustained serious burns when propane gas leaked from a corroded gas line located in the basement. The propane company, failed to conduct mandatory testing and inspection of the propane system.

Settlement: A trial of this case was scheduled for trial in 2015, and settlement was reached shortly before trial.

Nelson v. Southeast Propane (North Dakota)

Facts: Mr. Nelson sustained serious burns when propane gas leaked from a corroded gas line located in his basement. The propane company, Southeast Propane, failed to conduct mandatory testing and inspection of the propane system, in which the propane gas system contained an out-of-date regulator which was required to be removed and replaced with a new one.

Settlement: A trial of this case was scheduled for April 2015, and settlement was reached shortly before that to compensate Mr. Nelson for his injuries.

Campfield vs Gottula Propane Service, Inc., et al.

Facts: A propane explosion occurred at the home of our client, resulting in rendering our client disabled and completely unemployable as a result of his injuries. In the explosion he suffered severe burns, full and partial thickness to the head, face and upper body – covering 35-45% of his total body surface area. The case was based on the negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of propane.

Settlement: Obtained a substantial settlement for the Client prior to trial.

Williams vs. Gas Co.

Facts: A 14-year-old boy was seriously burned in a propane explosion. The retailer failed to adequately warn about the dangers of propane gas and the need to utilize gas detectors.

Settlement: After a week trial in Iowa, the insurance company for the propane retailer paid a very substantial settlement to the boy.

Client v. Gappa Oil, et. al.

Facts: A Minnesota resident received substantial burn injuries in a propane gas explosion at her house. An uncapped line leaked propane gas into the home. The home did not have propane gas detectors to warn the homeowner of the fugitive gas. The case is still pending in Minnesota against other liable parties upon theories of negligent failure to adequately warn, negligent testing, negligent inspection, and gas detectors.

Settlement: A $1,000,000.00 settlement was reached against an electrical company that contributed to the cause of the explosion.

Blasel v. Propane Retailer, et. al.

Facts: Mr. Blasel suffered burns in a propane gas explosion. A brass fitting corroded and propane gas leaked into the home. Soil is known to scrub or take out the odorant and the leaked gas contained no warning agent. The claim was resolved prior to filing a lawsuit.

Settlement: $1,000,000.00

Vega v. Propane Retailer, et. al.

Facts: Three young children were badly burned when a cat with a litter somehow caused a fuel shutoff valve improperly placed in a wall was opened allowing gas to leak into the home. The children came home from school and the oldest start to cook an afternoon snack. When she lit the stove the leaked gas exploded. The case was defended by the retailer on the basis that it was not a propane gas explosion.

Settlement: The case was settled resulting in a $6,000,000+.

Goehring v. Flying J, et. al.

Facts: Client purchased a 100 pound propane cylinder to provide heat to his house following a storm that knocked the power out to his residence. He took the cylinder home, placed it on the floor and left for two hours. When he returned, he smelled gas and attempted to carry the cylinder out of the house. When he picked up the cylinder, the home exploded.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained confidential settlements on behalf of its client.

Booker v. Propane Retailer, et. al. (Arbitration)

Facts: Mr. Booker sustained serious burns in a propane gas explosion caused by leaking propane gas. The case was based on negligent failure to warn, including the failure to warn about gas detectors. The case was defended by the retailer by blaming the client for the leak.

Settlement: The case was tried in state ordered binding arbitration resulting in a $1,500,000 arbitration award.

Swanton v. Defendants (Kansas)

Facts: Three children received serious burns in a propane gas explosion in Kansas. The case was based on negligent failure to warn, negligent testing of the property, and negligent inspection of the property.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained a substantial confidential settlement for the children. The settlement amount, however, was limited due to Kansas caps on lawsuits.

Krueger v. Propane Retailer, et. al. (Minnesota)

Facts: Mr. Krueger received serious burns in a propane gas explosion in Minnesota. The case was based on negligent failure to warn, including the need for gas detectors and negligent inspections of the propane gas system.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained a $1,800,000 settlement for Mr. Krueger.

Freeland v. Ferrellgas (Michigan Arbitration)

Facts: A retired couple was burned in a propane gas explosion in Michigan. The husband died as a result of the burns received in the explosion. The wife survived, but she sustained critical burns. The case was based on negligent failure to warn about the defects of odorized propane as well as the retailer’s failure to respond to numerous calls by the Freelands regarding gas leaks.

Settlement: The case was tried in state ordered binding arbitration resulting in a $8,300,000 arbitration award.

Countryman, et. al. v. Iowa Double Circle, et. al. (Iowa Trial)

Facts: Seven people were killed, and many others were seriously injured during a family gathering in Richland, Iowa. The home that was the gathering place for the family and friends exploded due to the accumulation of propane gas. The case was based on the negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of propane and the reasonable measures to take to ameliorate those dangers.

Settlement: Settlement was reached against the propane retailer for the policy limits of $5,000,000 and with the homeowner for $1,300,000. The wholesalers and pipeline settled for a significant confidential amount prior to the start of trial. Trial began against Lennox, the appliance manufacturer, before the case was settled for a substantial confidential amount during voir dire. The press reported total settlements of approximately $20,000,000.

In addition the District Court dismissed during the case a wholesaler based upon the limited liability statute. This was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court which resulted in a reversal finding that a managing partner to a limited liability corporation can be personally liable.

Bach v. Sapp Bros, et. al. (Iowa Trial)

Facts: Client purchased a 100 pound propane cylinder to provide heat to his house he was building. The cylinder leaked in the unfinished basement.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of its client with main defendants before trial.

Client v. Propane Retailer, et. al. (North Dakota)

Facts: Client purchased a 100 pound propane cylinder to provide heat to his house following a storm that knocked the power out to his residence. He took the cylinder home, placed it on the floor and left for two hours. When he returned, he smelled gas and attempted to carry the cylinder out of the house. When he picked up the cylinder, the home exploded.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of its client.

Wickenkamp v. Gas Company

Facts: A gas explosion occurred near Oskaloosa when the father of a minor boy was attempting to transfer propane from a larger cylinder to a smaller cylinder. Suit was filed based upon failure of the propane gas retailer to adequately warn regarding the dangers of transferring propane from one cylinder to another.

Settlement: After a week’s trial in Polk County District Court a substantial confidential settlement was reached.

Nehrig v. Thermogas et al. (Iowa)

Facts: Two volunteer fire fighters were killed and seven other people were injured when a blazing 18,000 gallon propane tank exploded in Albert City, Iowa. The propane tank lacked adequate collision protection, and the entire propane system design was flawed.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained confidential settlements on behalf of their clients.

Lawson v. Coop, et. al. (Minn)

Facts: Mrs. Lawson was killed in her sleep from a propane gas explosion. The case against the retailer was brought based on negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of odorized propane. The warning odor will not warn a sleeping person.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained a significant confidential settlement for Mr. Lawson.

Mahr v. Coop, et. al. (Minn)

Facts: Mr. Mahr was critically burned in a propane gas explosion in a winter cabin in Wisconsin. The case against the retailer was brought based on negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of odorized propane.

Settlement: The McEwen Law Firm obtained a significant confidential settlement for Mr. Mahr.

Amberson v. Red Lake Coop, et. al. (Minnesota)

Facts: Mr and Mrs. Amberson, both Native Americans, received burns in a propane gas explosion in Minnesota. The case was brought against based on negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of odorized propane. There were no lost wages, and there was little by wage of medical treatment. There were also significant issues of comparative fault.

Settlement: Settlement was reached for approximately $800,000.