ARTICLE ID 26221
- UTILITY NEGLIGENCE - ALLEGED DEFECTIVE GAS METER - GAS EXPLOSION - DESTRUCTION OF HOME - LIABILITY ONLY.
The plaintiff homeowners contended that the power companys gas
meter, which also conducted gas, was defective because of the
presence of serrations on the metal valve. The plaintiff
contended that as a result, gas accumulated, ultimately causing
an explosion which destroyed the home. There were no injuries.
The defendant power company contended that the serration occurred
when the valve was removed after the explosion. The defendant
contended that although it could not attribute a cause to the
explosion, it was clear that it was not caused by natural gas.
The defendant maintained that it was on the scene within one half
hour and that all testing performed showed no gas in the ambient
air. The defendant maintained that if a gas leak caused such an
explosion, some traces of gas would have remained as of the time
of this testing. The jury found for the defendant. Merrick vs.
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. Index no. ________/86; Judge Joseph
Harris, 10-16-90. Attorney for plaintiff: Michael Longstreet of
Albany; Attorney for defendant: Richard A. Hanft of Lee &
LeForestier in Troy. Plaintiffs expert engineer/fire consultant:
Gary Lucier from Troy. Defendants experts: Vito J. Colangelo,
metallurgist from Troy, Alden Gaudreau, engineer from Troy, and
Eugene Kessler, mechanical engineer from Syracuse.