Judge Sides with Contractor in Indiana Explosion Lawsuit

September 22, 2009

A federal judge has ruled that a contractor does not owe damages to Vectren Corp. over a natural gas explosion at an Indiana home that killed two women.

Vectren sued Iowa Pipeline Associates, claiming its workers improperly failed to remove old shut-off valves as they updated gas lines by putting plastic piping inside old metal pipes.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled that a Vectren supervisor had allowed crews to not remove several valves during the 2001 project and that the utility’s inspectors had approved the work.

City workers in 2004 mistook a gas valve as a water shutoff and caused a gas leak when they damaged the line. A Vectren employee was badly injured in the explosion that happened when he was relighting a pilot light in the home.

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