On 16 April 1973 at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon, natural gas which had escaped from a leak and accumulated in the basement of a building (premises liability) and exploded. The explosion and resulting fire killed someone, seriously injured three people, destroyed a building and caused extensive damage to other buildings of the apartment complex and to personal property of several of the tenants.
Four out of a total of 21 lawsuits commenced, are the subject of this appeal: wrongful death action; two personal injury actions; and the property damage.
In the property damage action, a New York Injury Lawyer said the complaint alleged, inter alia, claims based on negligence and strict products liability against the concerns responsible for the manufacture, assembly and installation of the “gas train”, i. e., the various pipes, connections and devices located in the gas equipment room of the building through which the high pressure gas coming from the outside must pass for delivery at a properly reduced low pressure to be used by the tenants in the several garden apartment structures. Of the five defendants in the property damage action, four were manufacturers of components of the gas train – manufacturer of the filters for the removal of dirt and dust from the incoming gas; the manufacturer of the regulator which reduced the high pressure gas to the proper low pressure for use by the tenants; manufacturer of the valve to relieve the excess pressure and the meter to measure the amount of gas used; and, the fabricator and supplier of the gaskets used in the filters. The fifth defendant, purchased the various components and assembled and installed the gas train.