Winter Brings Spike in Gas Appliance Explosions

Gas appliance explosions reach a seasonal peak each January and in other winter months when fuel usage spikes. Year in and year out, the leaks and corresponding blasts lead to findings of faulty appliances, code violations, negligent installations, shoddy repairs, bad connections and lack of odorant in gas. Don’t delay. The explosion burn law team at Pritzker Hageman will review your case at no expense to you. 

Gas Appliance LawsuitAn estimated average of 4,200 house fires per year start with the ignition of natural gas or liquid propane (LP Gas). These fires cause an average of 40 deaths per year and the National Fire Incident Reporting System says the occurrence of home gas leaks has generally been on the rise since 2007. Questions of liability arise in every incident.

Explosion and fire attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman represent individuals and families who are victimized by appliance explosions. Their investigations focus on evidence strong enough to negotiate a settlement before a lawsuit is filed. They determine sources of liability and pursue the recoveries that you deserve. For instance, a 25-year-old man was killed when a boiler leaked gas and exploded. Fred and Eric won $2.4 million for his family. When necessary, Fred and Eric seek verdicts for gas appliance lawsuits through the court system. 

Furnaces, stoves, ovens, other cooking equipment, water heaters, space heaters, laundry dryers, grills, refrigerators, freezers and gas fireplaces have all been at the center of gas explosion lawsuits. Many of the legal cases address wrongful death tragedies while other appliance explosion lawsuits hold wrongdoers responsible for burns, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, blunt force injuries and other trauma that people survived.

For victims to win the substantial damages they deserve, it’s critical for them to quickly contact explosion lawyers like Fred and Eric who will work to establish evidence while it’s still available. You need to know you have limited time to file a lawsuit.

“We’re here to ensure full compensation for every single family that suffers an explosion death or burn injury,’’ attorney Fred Pritzker said. “But our society desperately needs reforms to minimize explosion deaths and burn injuries.’’

Appliance Explosion Liability

Depending on the circumstances, blame can fall on a broad range of companies or individuals, including landlords. Has the building owner failed to provide proper maintenance? The liable parties may include one or more of the following:

  • Appliance manufacturer (defective equipment)
  • Gas utility (insufficient odorant in gas)
  • Parts manufacturer (defective parts)
  • Home builder (gas line code violations)
  • Landlord (old appliance, poorly maintained appliance, code violations)
  • Appliance installer (improper connections)
  • Appliance repair companies (poor training)

Periodically, gas appliances are recalled. Certain products sold under the following brands have been recalled: Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, Electrolux, Wolf, Maytag, Thermador, Amana, Magic Chef, and Tappan. Your legal team can determine if the product at the center of the explosion was ever recalled and listed with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most people do not realize that a manufacturer can be liable even if the product was only partially at fault for the personal injury or wrongful death.

If you are a homeowner, you’ve undoubtedly heard from various utility companies that they’re not responsible for appliances or infrastructure inside the home. The utilities like to say their responsibility “stops at the meter.’’ But in the case of gas explosions, energy companies are required by law to mix odorless fuel with ethyl mercaptan, a chemical that smells like rotten eggs for the purpose of human detection of leaks. In fact, odorant “fade” is a recurring problem that puts lives at risk. Was this scent-based safeguard ever installed? Did it fail? Why?

Fred and Eric are precise in their evaluation of the fuel supply because natural gas and LP are sometimes sold without meeting strict federal safety standards for odorant levels. Composition analysis by a chemistry lab provides additional evidence to reinforce the testimony of individuals who couldn’t smell leaked gas.

Faulty Connections

Gas Explosion LawsuitIn most states, building contractors are required to apply for a local permit to ensure compliance with master codes for the installation of gas lines. Multi-million dollar explosion tragedies have gone to court over contractor decisions to skirt those laws. Case by case, the gas line installation histories can be critical to appliance explosion victims. The whole purpose of requiring permits is for the finished work to be inspected by a safety expert. In many cases, those inspections would have uncovered errors or shortcuts that increased the chance of an explosion.

Gas appliances generally connect to the fuel supply via flexible lines that, in turn, connect to rigid gas lines running through the walls of a home or business. Many gas leaks are caused by faulty connectors on flexible lines, including instances when the connectors themselves are defective.

Fred and Eric build appliance explosion lawsuits on evidence they gather forensically. They rely on a stable of experts who are experts in chemistry, engineering, computer modeling, digital animation and other various fields. As a law firm committed to helping victims of gas explosions, the Pritzker Hageman explosion lawyers are committed to gathering the necessary data and findings for your best possible outcome.