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Reckless Conduct and Coverups Expose General Public to Significant Natural Gas Explosion Risks

A natural gas explosion case ended up being criminally prosecuted in Rockland County, New York. Ultimately, and as will be discussed in more detail in a moment, the true facts of the matter revealed that the State of New York had taken legal action against the wrong party when it came to a catastrophic natural gas explosion. Before diving deeper into the aftermath of this particular natural gas explosion, a consideration of the incident itself is important and illuminating.

A subcontractor at a residential development engaged the services of a man by the name of Fidel Padilla. Padilla was retained to install a 2-inch conduit throughout the Fairgrounds II condominium complex. The complex is located in the Village of West Haverstraw in Rockland County. The conduit was being installed throughout the development to carry Verizon Fios fiberoptic cable.

Prior to beginning the underground installation process, Padilla contacted the Orange and Rockland Utilities, the enterprise responsible for natural gas lines at the development. O & R was requested to map out and mark gas and electrical lines throughout the development.

In fact, O & R did have its employees place markers where gas and electrical lines were said to have been in place. In undertaking the installation of underground conduit, Padilla only dug where O & R markers said there were no gas or electrical lines.

Padilla spent much of a week installing the conduit without incident. Ultimately, Padilla was working in an area that O & R had marked as being free from gas and electrical lines. While at this spot, Padilla struck an O & R natural gas main pipeline. The impact with the natural gas pipeline triggered a leak.

After the pipeline break, firefighters were called to the scene to oversee the evacuation of the development. O & R workers were also dispatched to the scene

Within a relatively short period of time, a catastrophic gas explosion accident occurred as a result of the leak. The explosion ended up completely destroying one home and severely damaging several others. Fortunately, as a result of people not being home at the time of the natural gas explosion and because of the evacuation in progress, no one was killed in the fiery blast.

Padilla ultimately was charged with felony reckless endangerment based on an initial allegation that he bore responsibility for the natural gas explosion. In fact, the state agency that oversees utilities like O & R launched a comprehensive investigation. The agency discovered that O & R and not Padilla was at fault for the catastrophic gas explosion accident. As mentioned previously, O & R had negligently failed to properly mark the location of gas and electrical lines as needed within the condominium development.

Charges against Padilla ultimately were dismissed. The Rockland County natural gas explosion accident serves to illustrate how parties, including utility companies, will maneuver in order to evade responsibility for a natural gas explosion accident and for the injuries, damages, and losses that arise from these types of horrific incidents.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a natural gas explosion accident, the experienced, tenacious legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here to fight and fight hard for you. A nationwide law practice, you can reach The Doan Law Firm from anywhere in the country any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000.

We can schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with a dedicated, caring explosion accident lawyer at any one of your 40 offices located from coast to coast across the United States. We can also arrange to meet with you at your home or any other location convenient for you. If you desire, we can schedule a virtual appointment online. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm explosion accident lawyer.

The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. Our firm will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf in seeking the justice and compensation that you deserve as the result of an explosion accident.

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