Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader Negotiates Out-of-Court Settlement With UGI Corp. on Behalf of Victim in Horrific Allentown, Penn., Gas Explosion

Media contact: Tim White
(201) 465-8038
twhite@beckermanpr.com

Phillipsburg, N.J. (October 15, 2012) - Last month, Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader successfully negotiated an out-of-court settlement with UGI Corp. on behalf of one of the victims of the Feb. 9, 2011 Allentown, Penn., natural gas explosion, which was caused by a cracked, 86-year old cast iron pipe and killed five people and destroyed eight homes.

In the matter, Christian Perrucci, a Partner the Litigation Practice Group at Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader, LLC, is representing Manuel Cruz, who lost his 69-year old mother, his 16-year old daughter and his 4-month-old grandson in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against UGI. Though the firm negotiated a settlement on behalf of one of the victims, the other two cases are now being considered by Judge Anthony Beltrami of the Northampton County Court in Easton, Penn.

Attorneys on behalf of the plaintiff argued that UGI failed to address its corroded and dangerous natural gas pipeline system, leading to an "inevitable" catastrophe. Twenty years ago, the federal government warned UGI of the serious corrosion problems in its cast iron pipeline system in Allentown and the surrounding area and recommended that immediate action be taken to repair and replace the old and dangerous pipelines. At the time, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the gas pipe's failure was "inevitable" because the old cast iron pipe was fully corroded, yet UGI took no steps to address the issue.

Perrucci explained, "Aging natural gas pipelines pose a serious public safety risk. Over a two-year period, there have been two other explosions caused by corroded or poorly maintained pipelines, and if UGI doesn't take action to replace these pipes, it is only a matter of time until there is another explosion."

Perrucci concluded, "My client lost three generations of his family in the first home he ever purchased. UGI had ample notice of the dangerousness of the site, and it is a tragic event that never should have occurred. UGI is solely responsible for the inaction that led to this tragedy. This incident should serve as the impetus for UGI and all other natural gas providers in the state to replace old pipelines and to conform to federal safety standards."

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