After more than six months of intensive mediation and negotiation, lawyers from Bailey & Glasser LLP reached an Agreement in Principle with Columbia Gas on behalf of residents and businesses of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts affected by the September 13, 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions. Bailey & Glasser shared leadership of the consolidated class action lawsuit with Grant & Eisenhofer and Morgan & Morgan.
Columbia and its parent company NiSource, Inc. have agreed to pay $143 million to the thousands of residents and businesses impacted. The proposed class action settlement will compensate those harmed for the losses and hardships they suffered as a result of these blasts and fires.
This settlement, subject to court approval, is separate from the money paid to the towns to cover infrastructure repairs and other expenses, as well as from the individual claims involving personal injuries and wrongful death. Residents and businesses will be able to submit claims upon the settlement receiving final approval from the court.
“We believe this settlement will do the most good for the greatest number of affected people and businesses, as quickly as possible,” said John Roddy of Bailey & Glasser.
Residents will be entitled to recover compensation for the displacement and disruption of their lives the catastrophe caused, and property damage not previously paid for by Columbia Gas. Businesses will be able to claim lost income, lost inventory and the loss of goodwill.