Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Gas fire at Pennsylvania well pad

No one was hurt at a late night gas fire at a Chief Oil & Gas well. Chief, however, has had multiple violations that are cause for concern.

The fire occurred last Tuesday night at the Ellwood Phelps 2H well pad in Lathrop Township, Susquehanna County. The Department of Environmental Protection is investigating the well fire. Meanwhile, the well has stopped operating until a cause of the fire is determined and solution found.

Gas well fires are not uncommon occurrences, and often cause injury. For example, three workers were injured at a gas well in West Virginia on August 17, and a natural gas explosion at a gas well killed a man and injured three others in Colorado.

If you are injured in a gas well explosion or fire

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a gas well explosion or fire, you may be able to bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries and hold any negligent parties liable. The lawsuit you bring will depend on where you were injured and who caused your injury.

For example, if you were injured on the job and your employer's actions caused the injury, you will likely need to bring a workers' compensation claim. Generally, by purchasing workers' compensation insurance, employers protect themselves from direct liability for personal injury claims.

If, however, the accident was caused by a third party (such as a subcontractor working on the oil well), you can bring a personal injury claim against that third party.

And if you were a visitor to the oil well, your claim may fall under premises liability law.

As you can see, there are multiple levels to injury claims. Learn more about each of these claims by visiting our pages on injury law.

Source: StateImpact, NPR, "Fire, Not Explosion, at Susquehanna Drilling Site," Scott Detrow, Aug. 24, 2012.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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