GAS EXPLOSION LEADS TO $2 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR VICTIMS

James and Evelyn McCarty, both 67, will finally receive compensation for injuries they received after a propane gas explosion in their home in November 2013. The problem initially began in April of 2013 when the couple, homeowners in the Cape May community of Villas, New Jersey, decided to transition from using propane gas to natural gas to heat their home. The McCartys hired Shore Guys Heating and Air Conditioning at the recommendation of South Jersey Fuel & Propane. Although the company installed the natural gas, severed the pipes leading to the propane, and closed the valve on the propane tank, they failed to remove the propane tank from the home's basement or to lock up the propane tank. 

In November of that year, the couple found that they could not turn on their gas fireplace and requested help from a neighbor in lighting the fireplace. The neighbor went into the McCarty's home's basement, saw the propane tank, and opened the closed valve. This allowed propane gas to leak out through the severed pipes, filling the basement. When James McCarty later turned on the hot water to take a shower, causing the hot water heater to ignite, this action also ignited the propane gas in the air. The explosion leveled the couple's home and was so strong as to be felt a mile away. James McCarty suffered severe burns, and Evelyn suffered burns along with two broken legs. The couple filed a lawsuit against Shore Guys, asserting that the company was negligent in failing to lock the propane tank and remove the tank from the property, as well as South Jersey Fuel & Propane. The settlement reached calls for Shore Guys to pay $1.625 million toward the couple's damages and for South Jersey Fuel and Propane to pay the couple $275,000.

Construction companies and contractors have a duty to perform their work on your home competently, and when they don't, there can be serious consequences to the homeowner including injury or additional damages to your home. If you believe you have been the victim of shoddy construction work or contractor negligence, or have suffered injury as a result of that negligence, seek out legal help to ensure that you are fully compensated for any damages. Contact the knowledgeable New Jersey attorneys at Smith and Doran for a free consultation on your potential claims at 973-292-0016.

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