Committed to Guiding and Serving Neighbors Impacted by the Durham Gas Explosion

Durham Gas Leak Explosion

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On April 10, 2019, at approximately 10:07 a.m., our entire Durham headquarters shook. Windows rattled, lights flickered, and co-workers peeked out of their offices worried and confused. What caused the boom that was heard and felt throughout our Durham offices?

We soon learned that a few blocks away, a gas leak had caused a massive and devastating explosion that leveled a building and damaged numerous others in its vicinity in the popular Brightleaf District.

What We Know About the Durham Building Explosion

At 9:38 that morning, firefighters responded to reports of a gas leak near local coffee shop favorite, Kaffeinate. A contractor, digging to set a fiber optic cable line, had hit a two-inch gas line. He called 911 and firefighters arrived to evacuate nearby buildings. A yet-undetermined cause ignited the gas and caused an explosion that left over two dozen people injured and tragically killing another.

James Scott Farrin – Here to Serve Our Community

Having been part of the Durham community for over two decades now, this event has shaken us deeply and we want those affected by the blast to know we are here to help guide you in your search for answers. You may or may not need legal advice. We’ll let you know.

If you have been injured or if your business has been disrupted by the Durham gas explosion, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. We stand ready to offer help to our fellow Durham residents who have been affected.

Our lawyers have represented victims of similar situations. We have an attorney who volunteered to help victims of 9/11*, an attorney that represented victims of the 2009 Garner ConAgra plant explosion, and one that represented those affected by the 2017 Hatteras Bridge blackout that caused hundreds of businesses to lose revenue at the height of the summer season. Our lawyers have vast amounts of experience in many different areas of the law. We can offer you information on how to best handle your specific situation and potential claims, if that is the most prudent direction for you.

Our own Attorney Gary Jackson was interviewed not long after the explosion by CBS17 news (and other news outlets) about potential claims by those affected by the explosion. Gary said, “It’s not just those who were physically hurt in the explosion that have grounds to sue; but also businesses forced to close, people forced from their homes because of damage, and even people whose cars were damaged can make a legal claim.” Click on the image below to watch the entire clip:

Durham Explosion Aftermath, Gary Jackson on CBS News

Potential Negligence in the Durham Gas Explosion

To understand why there could be a potential legal claim for victims, it must be understood that the explosion did not happen on its own. Somewhere down the chain of command leading up to the explosion, someone was negligent. Legally speaking, that doesn’t necessarily mean that someone intended for this tragedy to happen, but rather that someone did not act like a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances.

That means someone is liable.

With over two dozen people injured, one person dead, and numerous businesses and lives disrupted, there is a potential legal avenue for those affected, and it is our role to provide you with options and answer your questions.

Who Can File a Lawsuit Against Those Responsible?

Simply put, potentially anyone who lost something as a result of the blast, whether through injury, death, or economic damages. However, each case is different.

Business owners carry insurance coverage to cover catastrophes, such as the Durham gas explosion. If you are owed damages for injuries or loss, it is up to the insurance company to potentially cover them – not the business owner.

Be Careful What You Say on Social Media and to Others

Insurance companies and representatives of the liable party may try to reduce what they owe victims if their case goes to court. If you’ve been harmed, we urge you to be extra cautious and careful who you talk to and what you say on social media about your injuries or situation, both now and in the future.

A trusted attorney should be your first call so you know that your rights and best interests are potentially protected.

Be mindful that whoever is responsible for the explosion is already preparing for potential litigation against them. Their investigators might be looking at your social media and following up with you in any way they can to see if they can mitigate the damages that they may potentially owe you. Keep your cards close.

What to Do Immediately if You Are a Victim of the Durham Gas Explosion

There are three types of damages in this case, and we have listed some of the things we suggest you keep track of if you have experienced these kinds of damages after the blast:

1. Bodily injury/wrongful death

  • Document your injuries – don’t throw anything related to your injuries away
  • Take as many photographs of your injuries as necessary
  • Keep a detailed chronology of what you are going through as you get treatment
  • Write down what happened about an hour before the explosion and after and keep this diary going (e.g., when it happened, what you were doing, how you got to the hospital, what the hospital did for you, etc.)
  • Keep all copies of your bills in the aftermath of the explosion
  • Keep a list of all of your medical providers
  • Contact our experienced attorneys as soon as possible. We can help you work with the insurance company representing your place of business to try to get you ALL damages you are potentially owed

2. Economic damages. Make sure you have copies of:

  • The deed of the damaged property, if you owned it
  • Your lease of the damaged property, if you rented it
  • Your financial records three months before the explosion, and ideally a year before, to show what you have lost
  • An inventory of everything you lost
  • A timeframe of how long it would take for you to go back into business, if even possible
  • Will you have to continue to pay rent at a place that has damages from the explosion?

3. A combination of business losses and injuries

  • If you were injured and hurt while you were working, you may have economic losses for being out of work as you heal, for however long that takes
  • If you weren’t injured but you were working at one of the damaged buildings, you may have to document how much you were making, your hours, and what you are doing to find another job (that is, you have to show that you are mitigating your damages)

In order to be able to successfully bring a potential lawsuit later on, if that is the best action for you, you need to be prepared. Save and document everything you can — as early as you can.

If you want help or guidance in putting together your claim, AND discussing whether or not you need an attorney to represent you, we would be happy to talk with you. Contact us here or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

*Results obtained prior to joining the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin