Family of teen killed during gas explosions settles lawsuit

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — The family of a teenager killed during a series of natural gas explosions in Massachusetts last year has settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility company.

The settlement was announced Tuesday by Doug Sheff, a lawyer for the family of 18-year-old Leonel Rondon, and NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. Financial details were not released.

Rondon was a high school junior who died Sept. 13 after the chimney of an exploding house crashed onto his car and crushed him. He had received his driver’s license just hours earlier.

The explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley, blamed on overpressurization of gas lines, also injured about 25 people and damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes.

Sheff says a scholarship fund will be established in Rondon’s name.

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