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Wrongful death: Law suit claims gas leak hastened mother's death

Gas companies nationwide, including in Texas, are responsible for the monitoring of gas wells to ensure detection of any leaks. A family in another state recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a gas company. They allege that a gas leak near their mother's residence hastened her death.

According to the lawsuit, the gas leak that was reported in Oct. 2015 adversely affected the 79-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The plaintiffs contend that the leaking gas -- which was coming from a well that was about three miles away -- affected her ability to breathe so severely that she became permanently dependent on oxygen from a tank. Her son asserts that even after his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in March she still continued to live an active life, including going on cruises.

Her son also claims that his mother's health took a turn for the worst in November when she started having breathing problems and suffered headaches. From then on, she was apparently unable to drive a car, and she could only walk with a cane. She died in January. Officials reported that air quality tests conducted from Oct. 30 through Jan. 23 indicated little evidence of dangerous toxins that could affect long-term health.

The legal counsel of this family will have the task of establishing that the woman's death was hastened by the escaping gas. Medical testimony will be required to support such a claim. As can be seen in this case, wrongful death claims can be complicated and may be best tackled with the support of an experienced Texas personal injury attorney.

Source: dailynews.com, "Wrongful death lawsuit filed against SoCalGas over Porter Ranch gas leak", Susan Abram, Feb. 2, 2016

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