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Explosion Liability – How it Works in Court

Explosions occur with alarming frequency and in situations where they’re often unexpected. As we all understand, anyone who happens to be close to an explosion is instantly in extreme danger, and explosions can cause irreversible injuries and death. The explosion lawyers at Williams Hart would like to provide a brief overview of how a claim of negligence against someone who has caused an explosion would be applied in court. We’ll do so with a hypothetical situation of a gas company worker activating gas lines on someone’s home.


The concept of “duty” is one that’s been part of negligence law for centuries. Basically, everyone owes everyone else a duty to not cause them, or put them in position to suffer harm. There are different standards of duty for different people, such as doctors, who owe a higher duty to his or her patients. In terms of explosions, a gas company worker owes a duty to not place homeowners in harm’s way with his or her line work.


Once a plaintiff has established the existence of a duty of care, he or she must then show that the defendant breached that duty. Generally, a duty is considered breached if the defendant acted, or failed to act, in a way similar to how a reasonable person would’ve acted in the same situation. In regards to the gas company explosion situation, the worker would have breached a duty if he or she did not close off an open gas line, as any reasonable gas worker would’ve done so.


Causation is one of the most confusing aspects of law, and it has caused many to stumble in their analysis. Put simply, the plaintiff must not only prove the existence of a duty and breach of that duty, but also that the breach of this duty caused the injury to be suffered. There are several different tests involved to decide if this happened, but a “link” between the defendant’s actions and the resulting injury must be established. Within our example, it must be shown that the gas worker’s failure to seal off the gas line caused the explosion.


This may seem elementary, but even if all of the elements above have been proven, the plaintiff must also prove that he or she suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Damages can include lost wages and medical costs, but also pain and suffering and loss of companionship. Without damages, there can be no claim.

Overall, if this seems complicated, that’s because it is. If you have been injured in an explosion, contact an explosion attorney at Williams Hart immediately to schedule a free initial consultation.

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