When Edgar Brummett stopped by his daughter’s house to check on a heating system that had been acting up, he was greeted by a propane explosion powerful enough to level the house and damage seven others, knocking some of them off their foundations. It was the last thing the 71-year-old family man would ever see.
Neighbors who came to offer aid reported finding nothing where the house once stood but debris and the remains of the propane tank. The blast could be felt from as far as 30 miles away. A cursory investigation of the site only confirmed that the explosion was propane-related, but media interviews with the surviving family members later revealed more to the story.
The Family Says They Had Already Reported a Gas Leak
According to his daughter and granddaughter, Brummett had reported a possible propane leak to the Tugalo Gas Company as early as December, due to the tank running empty earlier than expected. They say the company disputed the claim, tested the tank’s pressure on January 31st, declared it normal, and refilled it.
Obviously, the explosion that happened just days later was anything but normal, or at least it should be.
This is not the first time Tugalo’s name has been involved in a fatal home propane explosion. The company was also named as a defendant in another case where a home gas leak killed a woman and caused disabling injuries to her husband.
Gas Companies Have a Duty to Keep Customers Safe
Propane and other flammable gases can be extremely dangerous, and people who use them in their homes and businesses rely on the support of experts to keep them safe. Anyone who smells a leak, sees something wrong with their home installation, or has questions about safe usage should always be able to turn to their gas provider for life-saving repairs and guidance.
Manufacturers and sellers of potentially dangerous products also have a duty to warn their customers about the dangers and provide instructions for safe handling. The fact that propane is flammable and can cause explosions might seem too obvious to bear mentioning, but safe handling goes beyond just knowing not to fill a room with fumes and light a match. In the case involving the woman and her husband, for example, the homeowners had left a valve open on an empty tank, which may have led to the explosion. This is something a layperson might not think of as dangerous, but that Tugalo should have been knowledgeable enough to warn about.
The Stoddard Firm Represents Victims of Gas Leaks and Explosions
Our lawyers have extensive experience holding companies like Tugalo accountable for putting consumers at risk. We can uncover and establish the course of events that led to a preventable tragedy, identify what the company should have done to keep its customers safe, and explain it all in a clear, understandable way that judges and juries respect.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one to a gas explosion or similar accident, reach out to The Stoddard Firm right away to learn more about how we can help.