An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Texas Man Files Lawsuit Against Atmos Energy Corporation After Being Severely Burned in a Gas Leak Explosion

Photo of Jonathan Sneed

Russell McElyea is suing Atmos Energy Corporation after being severely burned when his friend's home exploded due to a gas leak. On May 14, 2017, Mr. McElyea was visiting his friend Raul Pedroza at his home in Stephenville, Texas. Mr. Pedroza was preparing lunch when he lit his stove, causing the house to explode in a gaseous fireball. McElyea managed to grab Pedroza and drag him out the front door just before an additional explosion occurred in the home. McElyea suffered burns to his face and arms and even went into a coma shortly after the incident. Pedroza sustained serious burns to more than 70 percent of his body, eventually succumbing to his wounds. According to the lawsuit, Atmos failed to properly warn Pedroza and himself of the dangers associated with gas leaks.

McElyea says that he, nor Pedroza, ever smelled the rotten egg smell that is supposed to accompany the natural gas we use in our home. Federal law requires that an odorant, like that of rotten eggs, be injected into gas before it reaches a customer's house. However, this system is not perfect. Scientists warn that this foul odor can fade before reaching a customer's house. The smell can fade for many reasons such as the age, length, and composite of a pipeline, not enough odorant in the gas or the absorption of the gas by the pipeline or soil. When this odor is absent from gas, a leak may go undetected, filling a home with gas and combusting when a flame or spark ignites in the house. This is what McElyea asserts happened to him and his friend because the gas company failed to warn them that gas can be odorless.

The gas company, Atmos Energy Corporation, has a public awareness campaign featuring Rosie the Skunk. Rosie tells customers that if "they smell gas, then to act fast!" The problem with this McElyea says, is that gas does not always have a smell. McElyea hopes that his lawsuit exposes the "false sense of security" gas companies can provide and brings awareness to the dangers of leaking natural gas in one's home.

If you have a loved one that has been wrongfully killed or seriously injured because of a gas explosion, call Abraham Watkins today. It is imperative that you find a law firm to manage your claim as soon as possible following an accident of this nature. Further, it is important to find a skilled law firm with experience handling these cases to ensure that companies are held fully accountable. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 1-800-594-4884 for your free consultation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • $50+ Million Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs, taking a lead role in the plaintiffs’ steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Plant Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Worksite Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm’s client.

  • $12 Million 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $48 Million Catastrophic Burns

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $48 million.

Our Record Of Success

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

Read More Success Stories

Let Us Help You Request a Free Consultation Today

Get Help Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Back to top