BALTIMORE (AP / WJZ) – A man seriously injured in a natural gas explosion in Baltimore has filed a lawsuit against Baltimore Gas & Electric and the city.
The man claims both were responsible for the August explosion, which badly burned him and buried him in his basement house.
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Terry James lawyers claim that BGE knew its gas lines were unsafe and did not respond to a meter with high gas rates.
BGE spokesman Aaron Koos said the company is not commenting on the merits of any pending litigation.
But he added that the equipment was "inspected, tested and found safe by BGE and was not the cause of the tragic natural gas explosion."
WJZ received this statement from BGE about the incident:
“While BGE does not comment on the merits of any pending litigation, it is important to remember that BGE inspected, tested and found the equipment to be safe and not the cause of the tragic natural gas explosion that occurred on August 10th . 2020. We remind all customers to immediately call BGE at 877-778-7798 or call 911 from a safe location to report a gas smell or problem with gas equipment. Our crews will react immediately at any time of the day or night to investigate the situation and make it safe. "
The blast killed two people and injured seven others, including James. WJZ already spoke exclusively to the family lawyer in October.
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"While it was a tragedy, it wasn't an act of God," said Latoya Francis-Williams, the family's lawyer. "Our goal is to find out who is responsible."
Terry's uncle Troy James said the incident caused financial strain.
"In order to be financially prepared, we have to move our homes so that it is accessible to him," he said. "In addition to the medical bills."
In January, Baltimore City fire investigators revealed that an accumulation of natural gas had caused the fatal explosion, but BGE found their equipment was not to blame.
The lawsuit alleges that James' landlord hired an HVAC company to install or work on a stove and gas line the day before the incident. The landlord was “busy with various pieces of equipment related to the gas meter and then reassured his tenants, including Terry James, that everything was in order. "
Baltimore City officials say the contractor has been licensed, but permission to do the work has not been found.
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