Fired Gas Leak Surveyor Linked to Two Explosions
Javier Garza, a gas leak surveyor employed by CenterPoint, has been connected to two separate explosions in the Houston area that caused two severe injuries and the death of a 64-year old woman. In both cases, Garza was responsible for checking gas lines outside the homes where the explosions occurred. First Explosion In October 2009, a tree root is believed to have cracked a gas line outside the Pasadena (Texas) home of 64-year old Deli Miles. Angela Landry, Miles’ daughter, was also injured in the explosion. Court records in a lawsuit filed related to the explosion show that the leak was so large that rainwater in one backyard began to bubble. Just days before the explosion, Garza was supposed to check the leak, which experts say should have been easily found. However, Garza denied responsibility for the inspection and claimed that CenterPoint had destroyed the paperwork he was required to complete documenting leak surveys. Second Explosion On New Year’s Eve 2011, an explosion at the home of Martha Regalado severely burned her 3-year-old grandson, Izaiah Regalado. The child survived the explosion, but has undergone 15 surgeries, with more expected in the future. He is permanently scarred, and lost all of his toes and fingers. According to court documents, a rock rubbing against an underground gas line caused a crack that allowed gas to leak into the Regalado home, even though they did not have gas service. Just as in the Miles case, Garza checked the gas line outside the home just one year before the explosion, but reported that he found no leaks. Garza Fired None of the issues related to Garza’s work were discovered until a few weeks before the explosion at the Regalado home. When the Regalado lawsuit was filed with documents showing Garza’s errors, CenterPoint fired him and settled both lawsuits out of court. When the negligence of an employee is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in an accident that causes injury or death, a wrongful death claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by the negligence of a company’s employee.