Help for Columbia Gas Victims and Customers

lawrence home explosion on chickering road

lawrence home explosion on chickering road

If you have been personally affected by the Columbia Gas fires and explosions or the interruption of gas and electric service, we are here to help you.  Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston is currently assisting individuals injured in the explosions and fires, homeowners and tenants whose property was damaged, as well as families whose gas and electric service was interrupted.  It is important that you know your rights. Our Massachusetts law firm has extensive experience representing victims of explosions and fires.

If your family or business has been affected by the Columbia Gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck to learn your rights. Please call 800-379-1244 for a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys.

Physical Injuries a Emotional Distress
The 70 gas fires and explosions caused one tragic death and more than 25 injuries.  Beyond physical injuries, countless residents who smelled gas and ran for their lives have been traumatized by the events of September 13, 2018.  The fear for one’s life and safety is real in the face of random explosions and fires in your community.  If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks or anxiety you may have a right to bring a claim for emotional distress, even without physical injuries.  We are here to speak with you and advise you of your rights to bring a claim for emotional distress.

Interruption of Gas Service
8600 Columbia Gas residential and business customers have no gas service which means no hot water, no heat or no cooking.  If your gas service has been cut off, you have been harmed.  Columbia Gas just announced that it may take “several months” to restore gas service to these families and businesses in the Merrimack Valley.  This is chilling news for every Columbia Gas customer, including homeowners, tenants and businesses.

Hot Plates and Space Heaters Are Not Enough…
Columbia Gas has distributed hot plates and space heaters to 6000 gas customers who are without service.  But is this enough?  Can a family of five be fed off a 2 burner hot plate?  Can a single space heater warm a multi-room home or apartment?  What about hot water?  If you are asking these questions, you likely have a claim for the interference with the use of your home or business.  We are here to help you.

Every Columbia Gas customer (property owners, tenants and businesses) who will be without natural gas for hot water, heat or cooking will be seriously affected.  How will families live in their homes and apartments without hot water for showers and bathing?  How will people endure the winter without heat?   Even if you or your home did not have property damage, you may be entitled to be compensated for the interference with your use and enjoyment of your property as a result of the loss of your gas service.  This is recognized claim for “nuisance damages” under Massachusetts law.  Given the uncertainty about how long gas service will be interrupted, it is important that you know your rights.  We are here to help customers facing the prospect of living in homes and operating businesses without gas service.

We urge you to consult with an experienced Massachusetts gas explosion lawyer before you sign off on any payments by Columbia Gas or any of the funds established to assist fire and explosion victims.  Breakstone, White and Gluck has over 100 combined years of experience helping families who have been seriously injured or displaced due to fires and gas explosions. We are here to assist and advise you about your rights.

Call us for a free consultation at 800-379-1244 or fill out our contact form.

Read More

Following Lawrence Natural Gas Explosions, Common Questions from Homeowners, Residents and Those Injured

Residents will spend weeks, months and even years recovering from the Lawrence, North Andover and Andover gas explosions. And throughout New England, many are also asking: are we safe in our homes?

If your family has been affected by the Columbia Gas explosions or fires, we can assist you. Please call us at 800-379-1244.

On Sept. 13th, natural gas explosions and fires erupted in the three Merrimack Valley communities. At least 70 blazes in all, causing devastation, dozens of injuries and one death.

Residents were forced to evacuate as Columbia Gas shut off service for 8,600 customers in Merrimack Valley. Emergency responders spent hours and hours putting out flames and stabilizing the area.

The next day, Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency, putting Eversource, not Columbia Gas, in charge of the recovery. As the NTSB investigates the Merrimack Valley natural gas explosion, Columbia Gas says it will rebuild 48 miles of gas pipeline in the region. This accelerates its modernization plan for the region.

Many residents have now returned to their homes, but they are without gas service and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to investigate. The NTSB is investigating a pressure increase detected in the natural gas pipeline north of Boston, according to CNN. According to WCVB, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said the investigation will focus on the activity of the pressure sensors on the gas line.

Breakstone, White & Gluck provides answers to a few common questions:

  • Homeowners Insurance Agents. If your home or property was damaged, contact your home insurance agent. Columbia Gas has set up a property damage hotline, but the company is struggling to keep up with claims. Many people waited in line this weekend, only to be turned away. Call your home insurance agent first. Your agent works for you and can be a resource in navigating this stressful situation. For more help, read this advisory from the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.
  • Property Damage to Your Car. Contact your auto insurance if your car was parked on your property and damaged as a result of the fires and explosions.
  • Gather Receipts. Collect receipts for expenses you incur as a result of the gas explosion, including for hotel rooms, the purchase of new groceries and home maintenance. Keep a written list of other losses, such as if you miss work or your child misses school. Note everything, even things such as your child missing out on playing after-school sports for an extended period, if relatives cannot come stay with you for the holiday and purchases of new clothing. Share the list with your home insurance agent and Columbia Gas. It is important to keep a list on a daily basis so you don’t forget any of the details. Remember to use your cell phone camera too.
  • Injury Claims. If you or a loved one have been injured, learn your legal rights. Injury claims are much different than claims for property damage. Injury claims should be handled by a personal injury lawyer who specializes in representing those who have been injured by gas explosions, fires, burns and construction accidents. These cases require intense and thorough investigation and knowledge of state and federal regulations. Read more about our law firm’s experience.

Free Legal Consultation – Breakstone, White & Gluck

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our personal injury lawyers are reviewing cases for injury victims of the Lawrence, North Andover and Andover natural gas explosions. If you have been injured, you may have the right to seek compensation for damages, including medical bills, lost wages, emotional and psychological injuries and physical pain and suffering. If you are married, you may also seek damages for the loss of consortium, which is compensation for the stress and hardship placed upon a spouse.

Learn your rights. For a free legal consultation, contact our lawyers at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.