Lawsuits stemming from gas explosions settled for $143M

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — The utility blamed for a series of gas explosions in Massachusetts last September has settled all class action lawsuits resulting from the disaster for $143 million.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent, NiSource Inc., announced the settlement Monday.

Columbia CEO Joe Hamrock in a statement said the settlement is “another important step forward” in the recovery effort.

The plaintiffs’ co-lead attorney, Frank Petosa, said in a statement that the settlement “will provide a full measure of compensation to thousands of residents and businesses.”

The agreement is subject to court approval.

The series of explosions last Sept. 13 in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover killed one, injured two dozen and left thousands of homes and businesses without natural gas service for weeks. The explosions were blamed on over-pressurization in a gas pipeline.

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