Barbara and Frank lived with their three children in a single family home. It was an ordinary day - the kids were playing video games with their cousin Sadie while Barb and Frank were getting ready to go out.
Later, Barb would recall hearing Sadie tell the other kids to pause the game while she went to the restroom. She would remember hearing Sadie walk up the hallway and flip on the bathroom light switch. And she would recall her terror as suddenly the house exploded.
A Gas Explosion in North Texas
In an unexpected eruption of flames, the windows shattered, the bathroom door was blown off its hinges and Sadie was knocked to the floor. Barb rushed up the hallway, finding Sadie trapped under the door and on fire. She yanked the door of the girl and put out the flames. Then she and the rest of the family evacuated their burning home.
By the time the fire department arrived the fire had spread to the attic. Sadie was airlifted to a burn center while firemen extinguished the flames. Late, the family discovered the cause of the explosion: a natural gas leak.
When the gas company responded to the scene, they found a large leak in the main pipe at the street of the family's home, which had migrated through the soil and under the house. Interestingly, all tests for leaks within the house came out negative, meaning the only source of gas could have been from the leak outside.
That's when Frank, Barb and Sadie's mom contacted us. They were angry and confused. If the gas hadn't come from inside their home, could the gas company be held responsible for the explosion? Who was going to pay for their destroyed house? And what about Sadie and her burns? Where was her justice?
We understood how seriously the families had been hurt by this tragedy and we knew we could help, so we got right to work.
Constructing a Gas Explosion Negligence Case Against Atmos
In order for the Atmos to be held responsible, we'd have to do more than point fingers. We needed to prove that their negligence caused the gas leak, and that gas leak caused the fire. We examined the gas main outside the home, which was originally installed in the early 1970's, and worked with experts to find the cause of the leak - an improperly fused joint between two pipes.
We hired specialists to drill into the house's foundation in order to show how the natural gas migrated from across teh street to under the home. The experts explained how natural gas - which normally smells like rotten eggs - can lose its odor when it travels through soil.
With all of these things combined, we built a case to prove that the gas leak caused the explosion. We took the case to trial against Atmos and won. Our clients were very happy with the outcome.