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ARTICLE ID 26221

- UTILITY NEGLIGENCE - ALLEGED DEFECTIVE GAS METER - GAS EXPLOSION - DESTRUCTION OF HOME - LIABILITY ONLY.

Albany County

The plaintiff homeowners contended that the power company’s 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. Plaintiff’s expert engineer/fire consultant: Gary Lucier from Troy. Defendant’s experts: Vito J. Colangelo, metallurgist from Troy, Alden Gaudreau, engineer from Troy, and Eugene Kessler, mechanical engineer from Syracuse.

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