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Wrongful death of elderly woman in senior center explosion

Patricia M. Jarzobski

When an elderly person moves into a senior living facility, safety is usually one of the primary reasons. The facility may provide health care, assistance with basic daily tasks or even just companionship so the elderly person isn't alone. Of all of the tragedies that can occur at a senior community, an explosion is not one of the normal possibilities, but unfortunately one happened recently in a Denver community. Now it is possible a construction company may face a wrongful death lawsuit due to its role in the tragedy.

Firefighters responded to a call from a Denver senior community after natural gas was detected on a Friday afternoon. The firefighters contacted the gas company, who arrived at the scene minutes before an explosion took place. The blast caused several buildings to catch fire and others to be damaged. A firefighter and a resident were taken to the hospital, and an 82-year-old resident was killed in the explosion.

Prior to the explosion, a contractor was installing underground fiber optic cables at the senior facility for a cable and internet company. According to reports, the same contractor had struck underground natural gas lines on Wednesday and then again on Friday, causing leaks. It has not been confirmed that the second leak was the cause of the deadly explosion, although a spokesman for the fire department described the fire as "gas fed."

Natural gas is very dangerous and care must be taken when working around it. Even though the construction crew wasn't working directly with the gas lines, they were working in their vicinity and should have taken care to ensure they did not make contact with the lines. If the investigation confirms that the explosion was in fact caused by the negligence of the contractor, the family of the elderly lady killed in the blast appear to have grounds to file a wrongful death suit. A knowledgeable attorney can help the victim's family hold the company financially responsible for her death and can seek compensation to help pay for her final expenses and other monetary damages. One would hope that, as a result, new safety measures would be put in place to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

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