CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Ten Sissonville residents affected by a massive natural gas explosion last December have sued Columbia Gas Transmission Co. and its parent company, NiSource.
Also named as defendants are four employees of those companies. The plaintiffs allege that the company and its named personnel were negligent and failed to maintain and operate the gas lines and assure they were safe.
A 20-inch pipeline ruptured and resulted in a fireball near Interstate 77 in Sissonville on Dec. 11. No one was killed, but several people were injured and some homes destroyed.
Warner Law Offices filed the lawsuits this week on behalf of Darrell Sigmon, Shelby McMillion, Dorma Harrison, Sharon Frame, Lorie Estep, Tina White, Margaret Johnson, Amy McMillion and her children Jacob Stevens and Russell McClanahan.
White filed as administratrix of the estate of her mother, Virginia Bailes. Bailes died in March of conditions, her daughter contends, that were a result of the stress and mental anguish related to the blast.
According to the court documents, the pipeline was adjacent to Bailes' home and she was displaced for two months. When she returned home, repairs had still not been made.
Estep and Sigmon were at a rented house on Derrick's Creek Road when the incident occurred, the complaint says. She hid in a bathtub until he coaxed her to try to leave the house. They exited by a bedroom window and ran from the home until they felt safe.
Harrison is the owner of the home rented to Estep and Sigmon. She contends it sustained serious damage and is not habitable. Frame, her daughter, holds her power-of-attorney and is also a party in the lawsuit.