Yes, you can sue Kinder Morgan for a gas explosion.
Kinder Morgan is a multi-billion dollar company that transports about 40 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States. It owns, co-owns or operates some 83,000 miles of gas and liquid fuel pipelines stretching from California to Texas to Florida to New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Oklahoma, Washington and points in between.
Explosion lawsuits have been filed against Kinder Morgan in the aftermath of leaks, fires, burns and wrongful deaths. In its own financial statements, the company acknowledges its intrinsic threat to public safety. Kinder Morgan pipelines continue to rupture. When they do, they cause explosions, fire, death, excruciating burns and devastating trauma.
“From time to time, despite our best efforts, our pipelines experience leaks and ruptures,’’ Kinder Morgan said in a recent disclosure to Wall Street. “These leaks and ruptures may cause explosions, fire, and damage to the environment, damage to property and/or personal injury or death.’’
The disclosure went on to say: “In connection with these incidents, we may be sued for damages caused by an alleged failure to properly mark the locations of our pipelines and/or to properly maintain our pipelines.’’
Explosion Lawyers Care for Your Family
Explosion attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have studied litigation against Kinder Morgan and they have sued some of the nation’s largest pipeline companies for negligence. The two lawyers represent burn victims, including the families of individuals who have perished in explosions caused by leaking natural gas, propane and other petroleum fuels. In one such lawsuit, Fred and Eric obtained a $45 million settlement for a husband, wife and baby girl after the husband suffered horrific burns in a pipeline explosion in their neighborhood.
Fred and Eric have collected hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients including some of the biggest burn recoveries in American history. In their law practice, they also strive to restore dignity by holding wrongdoers accountable and forcing changes for the good of all.
Their injury and wrongful death investigations uncover the facts and circumstances of each incident. A wrongful death lawsuit against Centerpoint Energy in 2017 achieved a settlement for the family of a woman who died in a natural gas explosion in Minneapolis. Fred and Eric investigated and found that a company gas line containing highly pressurized gas was being disassembled by an inexperienced, untrained and unqualified worker. The gas leaked at full flow inside a downstairs area and the workers fled without saving the lives of others.
Kinder Morgan Riches
For the year that ended December 31, 2019, Kinder Morgan turned a profit of $2.2 billion, or more than $6 million per day in profit. Already a giant in the industry, Kinder Morgan is growing and continues to draw scrutiny from federal pipeline safety authorities.
The company’s troubled past includes the nation’s deadliest gasoline pipeline explosion. In Walnut Creek, California, five men were killed and four others severely burned. A subsidiary of Kinder Morgan pleaded no contest to six felonies in connection with the job site blast that created a fireball 60 feet high. Federal regulators forced Kinder Morgan to implement a safety plan after a series of pipeline spills and leaks in California and other western states.
The explosion lawsuit history against Kinder Morgan includes an even deadlier explosion south of the Texas border, in Mexico. Twenty-two people were killed when a gas leak from a Kinder Morgan pipeline exploded into an inferno. The company was blamed for not adding enough chemical to the odorless gas to allow people to smell potential leaks. In that case, a U.S. federal court ruled in 2016 that only Kinder Morgan and not any of the other companies originally sued by plaintiffs’ groups should face charges of gross negligence and negligence.
Pipeline Explosion History
In Texas, at least two pipeline explosions have occurred in the past nine years involving Kinder Morgan. The blast in November 2009 set fire to a home where three people were hospitalized. About 200 others were evacuated. The rupture and subsequent blaze happened in a newly-developed residential area near Bushland, Texas. Experts described it as a pipe failure.
Much more recently in October 2020, Kinder Morgan’s pipeline integrity in Texas was questioned when a line exploded under the Trinity River between the Texas communities of Goodrich and Shepherd. Emergency responders raced to the scene, helping with evacuations in the surrounding area. Kinder Morgan told Pipeline & Gas Journal that it was investigating what caused the danger.
Besides explosions, Kinder Morgan has been identified as a potentially responsible party in environmental disasters. Kinder Morgan’s own lawyers say the active cases relate to several federal and state Superfund sites contaminated by leaks or spills. One such cleanup site is an area on the lower Willamette River in Oregon commonly referred to as the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated the cleanup cost at $1.1 billion — to be divided among responsible parties.