Oil & Gas Pipeline Explosions Case Study

Pipeline Explosions: El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion

The tragic immensity of natural gas pipeline explosions was evident in the early morning sky outside Carlsbad, New Mexico, on August 19, 2000.  An interstate natural gas pipeline owned by El Paso Natural Gas Company exploded and killed 12 family members. The family was spending the weekend by the Pecos River camping and fishing.

Together with the Blenden Law Firm of Carlsbad, New Mexico, Mr. Schuster represented the families of five of the people who were killed by the explosion. Experts who investigated and reviewed the case concluded the pipeline was severely corroded internally. The section of pipe that failed had not been inspected, tested, or cleaned for five decades. The case was concluded in 2002 approximately one month before it was to go to trial. The amount of the settlement was in excess of $100 Million, the largest personal injury settlement in the history of New Mexico and one of the largest ever achieved in the nation.

Mr. Schuster also filed a related case on behalf of 26 firefighters who were injured when they responded to the explosion scene.