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$7.5M Massachusetts Wrongful Death Settlement in 2010 Norfolk Propane Blast Lawsuit Filed by Electrician’s Family

The family of William Nichols has reached a $7.5 million Massachusetts wrongful death settlement in its lawsuit against EnergyUSA and Smolinsky Plumbing and Heating over the 2010 Norfolk propane explosion that claimed his life. Nichols, a 46-year-old Blackstone electrician, suffered fatal injuries, including burns to 80% of his body, when the blast happened and then trapped him under rubble for over 90 minutes.

At the time of the explosion, he had been working on the air conditioning and heating system in a duplex under construction. There had been no odor to warn him that an explosion was coming.

According to the family’s Norfolk wrongful death complaint, EnergyUSA under-filled a new propane tank, which caused the chemical odorant to fade. This is the reason why the propane that leaked had no smell and could not be detected–a theory confirmed by reports about the leak accident. They contend that the company violated the warning located on the propane tank cover that instructs for the new tank to be filled to capacity. Records indicate that only 200 gallons was delivered to the 1,000 gallon tank on April 29, 2010.

The plaintiffs accused Smolinsky Plumbing and Heating of not properly tightening a connection to the furnace, causing the leak that then led to the propane gas explosion. Two people who sustained permanent injuries in the explosion have also settled their Norfolk personal injury cases for a total of $15 million.

Massachusetts Construction Accident
Construction worker can be dangerous and workers are faced with hazardous situations every day. Unfortunately, safety regulations and procedures are not always followed at construction sites, which can cause serious injuries and even deaths. If you or a loved one was injured in a Boston construction accident while on the job, you should likely be entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits. It shouldn’t matter who/what was at fault. You also may be entitled to Boston injury or wrongful death compensation from other involved liable parties.

An experienced Boston injury lawyer can help you explore your legal options.

$7.5M settlement in deadly Mass. propane explosion, Boston Herald/Associated Press, July 9, 2012

Lawsuit Filed In Deadly Propane Blast In Norfolk, CBS Boston, January 4, 2011

Propane Leak Cause of Norfolk Explosion, The Wrentham Times, August 5, 2010


More Blog Posts:

Boston Construction Accident Results in $1.6M Massachusetts Personal Injury Settlement, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2012

Propone Tank Explodes at MA High School Construction Site, Injuring Worker, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012

Boston Hospital Gives Full Face Transplant to Man Burned in Construction Accident, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011