Contractors to Pay Family $14.8M for Natural Gas Explosion

While the physical and emotional burden remains heavy, a sizeable financial weight has been lifted off the shoulders of Faye Boroughs and her son as a Florida jury awarded the family $14.8 million after an explosion in their home. Ms. Boroughs sustained severe burns on 33% of her body and remains permanently disfigured; a lifelong reminder of the explosion that claimed life of her partner. Michael Blanchard was burned on 98% of his body and suffered for three long weeks before succumbing to his injuries. The couple’s young son was in another part of the home at the time, but sustained psychological injuries.

According to the National Trial Lawyers, “evidence showed that the defendant companies violated gas safety codes and failed to adequately train their technicians.” The plaintiff’s attorneys were able to establish that the explosion was directly caused by negligent actions by Panhandle Plumbing and Andrews Cooling & Heating. Panhandle Plumbing did not seek the appropriate permits to install a gas line that was not properly labeled and lacked a safety shut-off valve-two very basic requirements. Andrews Cooling & Heating then installed a gas dryer with that faulty pipe, and ignored both the manufacturer’s instructions and minimum safety code provisions.

When Ms. Boroughs and Mr. Blanchard moved in, they put in an electric dyer, leaving the poorly installed gas line uncapped and exposed. On the morning of November 15, 2009, Faye Boroughs turned on the furnace, unknowingly allowing the gas to escape and igniting the explosion that would kill her partner and scar her for life. The family’s attorney, Skip Finkbohner, explained, “This explosion was caused by the negligence of multiple parties who created a lethal hazard for a family in their home…Hopefully, the jury’s verdict will send a message improving the way the defendants do business in the future. It is unacceptable to cut corners at the expense of innocent people.”

Shoddy contractor work is responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths every year, and the pain suffered by victims and their families is only amplified by the fact that the mistakes are completely preventable. The families are left to deal with emotional and physical injuries while sustaining a sizeable financial burden in medical bills and lost wages. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a personal injury or wrongful death, Altman & Altman can help. Our dedicated team of Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorneys has decades of experience successful handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. We understand the frustrations and challenges faced by victims and will work every option to ensure your family receives the compensation you deserve.

At the law offices of Altman & Altman, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – including nights and weekends to answer any questions regarding your case. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

Read the full article from The National Trail Lawyers

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