Nelson v. Southeast Propane (North Dakota) (2015)

This case was very recently concluded. A propane gas explosion occurred in the home of Hal Nelson who lived in North Dakota at the time of the explosion. Southeast Propane was a propane provider to Mr. Nelson. Mr. Nelson sustained very serious burns when propane gas leaked from a corroded gas line located in his basement.

Liability was predicated the fact that Southeast was required to conduct mandatory testing and inspection of the propane gas system at Mr. Nelson’s home and should have done so on numerous occasions. Mr. Nelson’s propane gas system contained an out of date regulator which was required to be removed and replaced with a new one. Southeast knew of this and had promised Mr. Nelson that it would be changed but failed to do so.

Part of changing the regulator would have required a mandatory testing and inspection of the entire propane gas system. Had this been done Southeast would have discovered a corroded and leaking gas line in the basement. The gas line was corroded and leaking because, contrary to NFPA 54, it was not properly placed in the basement and was allowed to come into contact with the concrete block in the basement. Concrete block is known to be corrosive on gas lines and such contact is prohibited.

Trial of this case was scheduled for April 2015 and settlement was reached shortly before that to compensate Mr. Nelson for his injuries.