McKinney, TX- The family of Nancy Foster has filed a petition against Atmos Energy and M.J. Sheridan seeking compensatory and punitive damages from the gas explosions that destroyed her home and put her in a Dallas hospital’s burn unit.
Charles H. Foster, Nancy Foster’s son and duly appointed agent, filed the petition earlier this month in a Dallas County civil court. The petition gives Atmos Energy and M.J. Sheridan until June 30th to file an answer for a pending lawsuit, Foster’s attorney Frank Branson of Dallas said.
Mrs. Foster, Raul Moreno and Arthur Bryson were all flown to Dallas-area hospitals after a punctured gas line caused natural gas to seep into two area homes through sewer lines and explode on May 16 in homes along Fenet Street. Moreno is the only one of the three victims who has been released from Parkland Memorial Hospital.
The petition alleges both companies made several negligent decisions that led to the explosions and caused Mrs. Foster’s injuries.
“Those actions and/or omissions which, when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the respective actors at the time of the their (sic) occurrence involved an extreme degree of risk considering the probability and magnitude of potential harm to others, and of which the respective actors had actual, subjective awareness of the risks involved, but nevertheless proceeded with conscious indifference to the rights, safety or welfare of others including Mrs. Foster,” according to the petition. “The gross negligence of the Defendants was a proximate cause of the occurrence in question and Mrs. Foster’s resulting damages.”
The petition also claims the work M.J. Sheridan was doing on the road “was performed improperly, resulting in the drilling operations puncturing an existing gas line.”
The petition does not specify the negligent acts that occurred during the 69 minutes between the gas line cut and the explosions other than the initial cause of the explosions.
Mr. Foster is asking for an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages on Mrs. Foster’s behalf. Compensatory damages include “physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, medical care, rehabilitative care (and) physical impairment.” Punitive damages include considering factors such as “the nature of the wrong, the character of the conduct involved, the degree of culpability of the wrongdoers, the situation and sensibilities of the parties concerned, the extent to which such conduct offends the public sense of justice and propriety and the net work of the Defendants.”