The family of William Nichols recently settled a $7.5 million lawsuit regarding the death of the Blackstone electrician.
Nichols, a Blackstone electrician, was working on a heating and air conditioning system in Norfolk, VA when a propane tank exploded. It has been determined that the cause of the explosion was an undetected gas leak.
The lawsuit, filed against Energy USA, states that the propane tank had been under-filled, causing the chemical odorant to fade.
A chemical odorant is an additive that gives a smell of leaked gas. Without the presence of it, the leaked gas is odorless and therefore undetectable.
The Smolinksy Brothers plumbing and heating company did not properly ensure the connection that led to the leak.
The explosion gave Nichols burns over 80% of his body and left his family and two others injured. Those injured were able to reach a settlement with Energy USA and Smolinksy Brothers Plumbing for a total of $22.5 million.
This case sheds light to the regulations needed for handling propane, and the training that must be involved. Even propane tanks meant for gas grills can present a serious danger if the odorant fades out.
The proposed propane regulations should increase the awareness of the threat that un-odorized propane brings, in attempts to prevent any future explosions.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a propane or gas-related accident, call our Toledo, Ohio accident lawyers at for a free case evaluation. You may also request your free copy of The Ohio Accident Book, which includes helpful information regarding your accident.