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New Jersey premises liability: Who's responsible for explosion?

Authorities in New Jersey are investigating the cause of a house explosion that occurred on Nov. 11. It has been reported that one person was killed and over a dozen people were injured in the incident. Investigators are now trying to determine who is responsible. Legal actions, such as premises liability and other claims, may be filed by the victims or surviving family members in an effort to seek compensation for their losses.

The house that was destroyed was located in a neighborhood in Elizabeth. It is believed that the home had been converted to apartments, though the legality of this conversion is being questioned. New tenants had moved into the first-floor apartment a little over a month before the explosion occurred.

According to a recent report, the gas line had been turned off sometime in September when the previous tenant vacated the property. At some point in October, the gas had been turned back on, but this was apparently not done by the gas company. Elizabethtown Gas Company claims that it did receive a service call to the property. Upon arrival, the technician claims that the gas had already been turned back on and that everything seemed to be in working order. A gas leak was supposedly never reported by the tenants.

There are a lot of variables in this case, and investigators certainly have their work cut out for them as they try to determine what led up to this explosion. Not only is the role of the gas company being questioned here, but the role of property owner is also likely to be examined. The victims of this explosion and the surviving family members of the deceased may have legal recourse. Premises liability, personal injury, wrongful death and various other legal claims may be filed against those believed responsible for this incident. Claims that are litigated successfully in a New Jersey civil court may receive fair and full compensation for any losses sustained.

Source: NBC New York, "Deadly Explosion That Leveled NJ Home Likely Caused by Gas Line Breach, Mayor Says", Brian Thompson, Nov. 13, 2015

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