Los Angeles Personal Injury Attoneys

Victims Burned During Steam Pipe Explosion Sue Public Utility

Tow-truck driver Gregory McCullough and his passenger, Judith Bailey were burned during the catastrophic explosion of a steam-pipe that blew up a crater in a street along Manhattan district of New York City. McCullough and Bailey filed charges against New York City's utility provider with allegations of misconduct. Both are seeking for unstipulated damages from the Consolidated Edison.


Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/31/2007 -- According to the burn victims' lawsuit papers, Con Edison allegedly failed to "properly operate and maintain its steam system." Such negligence or misconduct led to creating a certain "ticking time bomb," consequently resulting to unmitigated blast when it finally exploded.

Based from the plaintiffs' claims, historically, twelve of these pipes have already exploded since the year 1987 in the said area. Among these incidents, a 1989 explosion resulted in the death of three people and released poisonous gas, particularly, asbestos amounting to 200 pounds.

The victims filed the lawsuits just when the public utility agency declared earlier that day, that the substandard repair job applied on the pipes was not the cause of its explosion.

Utility officials claimed that inspections and investigations on the cause of explosion turned out that it had been spontaneous.

Aside from McCullough and Bailey who are 21 and 30, respectively, 40 other people sustained injuries caused by the July 18 pipe blast. A woman died due to heart attack.

In the case of the two, they were inside McCullough's truck as the pipe exploded nearby Grand Central Terminal. Beneath them the ground fell away, created a sinkhole wide enough for the tow-away truck to fall into, and the truck was swallowed up by a geyser of steam reaching 200 degrees, asbestos and mud.

McCullough underwent a medically induced comatose condition for proper control of his pain. He had also undergone surgery to remove the dead skin caused by the third-degree burns on almost 80 percent of his body. On the other hand, Bailey suffered from burns on about 30 percent of her body.

Aside from the two burn victims, two other victims filed lawsuits against Con Edison after the pipe eruption.

Con Edison has already engaged an engineering firm that specializes in analyzing and assessing structure failures for a deeper investigation to the causes of explosion.

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