In February 2018, 12-year-old Linda “Michellita” Rogers was preparing for a cheerleading competition when her home ignited in flames and exploded due to a natural gas leak. Days after, her family found a video she recorded on her phone moments before the explosion took her life.
The wrongful death attorneys at Ted B. Lyon & Associates assisted the Rogers family in their case.
The Explosion Was One of Three in the Same Dallas Neighborhood
The explosion was the third one to occur for Atmos Energy in the northwest Dallas neighborhood where the Rogers family lived. According to Atmos emails, two other houses exploded from leaking gas two days before the Rogers home. Atmos failed to move forward with an evacuation of the neighborhood.
The Rogers Family Settles Case With Atmos Energy
In May of 2019, the Rogers family settled their lawsuit with Atmos Energy, over a year after the death of their 12-year-old daughter. Attorney Ted Lyon helped secure a successful settlement that the family is pleased with.
After the explosion of Linda’s home, Atmos followed through with an evacuation of more than 1,000 homes in Dallas. They also replaced several miles of steel pipe known to cause natural gas leaks. Atmos is now required to replace all of its cast-iron pipes by 2021 and must follow a more detailed process for reporting gas leaks.
How to Protect Your Family From Natural Gas Leaks
Over 177 million Americans use natural gas in their homes. Although you can’t control your gas company’s maintenance or installation, you can follow these safety tips to help protect you and your family:
- Test for a rotten egg smell: Natural gas doesn’t have a smell in its natural state. Yet, gas companies add chemicals to create a rotten egg smell. If you smell this odor, you might have a leak.
- Listen for a hissing sound: If you hear a hissing sound in your pipes or appliances, it could be a large gas leak.
- Look for symptoms of gas poisoning: Headaches, dizziness and nausea are all symptoms of gas poisoning. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor or go to a local hospital.
- Use a natural gas detector: You may not hear or smell anything at all. It’s critical to use a natural gas detector so you’re alerted should a leak occur.
If you detect a leak, leave your home and call 911 for help.