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By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Class Action Attorney on Monday, October 1, 2018.
Kristensen LLP Investigating Claims for Gas Explosion in Andover

In our capitalized, modernized, and industrialized society, we often find ourselves with little choice to whom we give our business. This can be true of many services required at our homes or places of business. It’s by no means always a bad thing, and in many cases can provide much needed services to large populations – but, it also requires trusting our best interests and safety to others – others who may take that responsibility for granted. Unfortunately, this reality was felt in the most tragic of ways by Massachusetts residents in the towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover when the negligence of Columbia Gas triggered a series of explosions that resulted in one fatality, dozens of injuries, and the displacement of nearly ten thousand innocent people from their homes.

On September 13, three towns found themselves living in a nightmare turned into reality. The explosions of gas lines – which no resident can control or maintain themselves, and instead trust companies to do on their own behalf – caused more than 70 fires, destroying the lives and homes of innocent people. Moreover, rather than being the result of an unfortunate and unavoidable accident, it’s alleged the catalyst for this catastrophic event was aging infrastructure that was actively ignored by Columbia Gas in favor of building new, more profitable pipelines elsewhere. The lack of regard for people in favor of profits has cost the both the community and the offending company.

Despite the return to their homes, for those who still have them, the future is still a question as it remains unclear when they will regain access to essential gas and utility services. In response, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against those responsible for the operation of the pipeline on behalf of the affected residents who lost their homes, businesses, and life as they knew it.

Preliminary reports indicated that the gas lines were alarmingly over-pressurized, which is believed to be the cause of the explosions and fires. It’s argued the lines were not only neglected, but were also among the oldest in the country and in desperate need of maintenance and repairs. The class-action lawsuit seeks to represent the interests of those affected by the company’s disregard for their safety and well-being, and hopefully see justice served on behalf of their communities.

The loss of lives is always tragic, but for Kristensen LLP, the events are more than figuratively close to home. As a North Andover native and a graduate of North Andover High School, John Kristensen is deeply connected to the tragedy that befell his hometown and all those who reside there and in the neighboring communities. Regrettably, nothing can be done to reverse the damage caused by the explosions and destruction, but it’s important that all those affected know they are not alone and they will be advocated for and their interests will be represented. For this reason, our firm is investigating joining the class-action lawsuit, as well as taking on individual claims. If you, or a loved one, is a victim of the Columbia Gas explosions – please, reach out to our firm so we can advocate for the justice you deserve.