Coryell Memorial Hospital Explosion Worsened by Failure of Safety Precaution
A worker at Coryell Memorial Hospital has filed a lawsuit against the Atmos Energy Company after suffering injuries in a natural gas explosion. The suit claims the man’s injuries the explosion caused serious injuries and would not have occurred had the company maintained proper safety precautions.
According to the claim, 44-year-old Matt Aaron of Oglesby suffered third degree burns and other injuries when an undetected gas leak led to an explosion on June 26, 2018. He spent months in the hospital recovering from his injuries and continues to receive medical care.
In many cases, natural gas explosions are avoided because it is so easy to recognize when natural gas is present. Methanethiol, also known as mercaptan, is a chemical compound added to natural gas. It releases an unpleasant “rotten egg” odor that alerts anyone near a gas leak to exposure and flammability.
As a result of his involvement in the explosion, Aaron is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
In addition to Aaron, three workers were killed and 13 others injured in the explosion.
Fire Marshal Report Sites Natural Gas Leak as Cause of Explosion
The report released in November by the State Fire Marshal’s Office stated a large pocket of natural gas was emitted from a disconnected line into the boiler room which then ignited and caused the explosion.
Energy companies in Texas and elsewhere are required to add foul-smelling mercaptan to natural gas lines in order to alert anyone of a leak.
According to Aaron’s claim, Atmos Energy knew that odor fade – the loss of mercaptan – could occur when new gas pipes are installed. This was allegedly the case in Coryell due to a hospital wing expansion, which mean Atmos knew of the potential for odor fade to occur but failed to warn workers and other people in the area of that risk.
The company released a statement after the explosion stating that no leaks had been found in the natural gas system and that tests had confirmed this. Atmos also stated that it had added and confirmed the presence of mercaptan in the lines.
Despite these claims, construction workers in the area at the time of the explosion claim they did not detect any “rotten egg” smell that would indicate the presence of mercaptan.
Atmos continues to claim no responsibility for the incident.
Aaron is seeking a jury trial.
Legal Support is Available to those Injured in Explosions and Other Workplace Incidents
If you or a loved one was injured in an explosion or other type of workplace accident, we can help.
Gas explosions are likely to cause significant injuries and create long-term medical issues. Our team has experience assisting people who were exposed to harm because of the negligence.
For more information or to discuss your case, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377 to schedule a free consultation.