Man Killed In Gas Line Explosion, Confidential Settlement Obtained for Surviving Family Members

Litigation Type - Construction Accidents

Client Injury - Death

Many Minnesotans remember the sad news from downtown St. Cloud, Minnesota, when a gas line explosion in December 1998 leveled an entire city block and killed four people, injuring 15. According to federal investigators, construction workers drilling an anchor into the ground to brace a utility pole punctured a plastic natural-gas pipe, causing the leak that led to the explosion.

Our client, a worker for then Northern States Power Company (NSP), now Xcel Energy, was called to the scene to help with repairs when the explosion occurred. He was killed instantly, leaving behind a wife and two adult daughters. We contended that the subcontractor hired to install the utility pole for a fiber optic cable, as well as other defendants in the case, failed to take appropriate action to both prevent and respond to the gas line hit.

This case was one of five cases from the explosion that involved very extended litigation over a five-year period. The cases were set for trial in January 2004 but settled in December prior to trial. The settlement amount was significant but at the request of plaintiff and defendants, the amount is subject to a confidentiality agreement.


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Paul K. Downes

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Client Reviews

out of 12 reviews
Troy Rognrud

In June of 2013 I was enjoying a ride on my vintage motorcycle, and was severely injured by an inattentive motorist, sending me to the hospital, physical therapy, and amassing a considerable amount of debt.

Fortunately I made contact with Robert Hauer, and Paul Downes with SiebenCarey!
Paul walked me through the entire process, explaining in layman's terms as to what to expect, and he continued to keep me informed as each step was reached.

Ultimately we used mediation to reach a settlement that allowed me to pay off my outstanding bills, and to bank an amount that gave me some peace of mind.
If by some unfortunate incident you ever have need for the services of a personal injury attorney, I highly recommend SiebenCarey... Thanks Paul!

Jim Walsh
I had a very positive experience with Paul Downes. He took the time to explain the process, each step of the way, and what we could expect. No surprises. A pleasant experience.
Jim Becker
it was a good experience, it took a long time to settle but good to have an experienced attorney in my corner.
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They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Morgan Petoletti
My husband had an amazing experience with this firm. They listened and took the time to understand our case.
Carly R.

My boyfriend was hit by a car and while all the attorneys he talked to said he didn't have much chance of a case, SiebenCarey took him on and gave him a fighting chance. He's still recovering, but SiebenCarey is making it a lot easier.

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St. Paul Local 12
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Jazz Smith

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Eric Petoletti
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