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$7.5 Million Settlement For Victim's Family In Norfolk Propane Explosion

BOSTON (CBS) - The family of a Blackstone electrician killed in a propane blast two years ago will get a $7.5 million settlement.

Billy Nichols
Billy Nichols

Forty-six-year-old William Nichols was working on a heating and air conditioning system in Norfolk back in July 2010 when a propane tank exploded without warning.

The blast was traced to a gas leak that could not be detected because there was no odorant, the additive that allows us to smell leaking gas.

Nichols' family and two other people who were injured in the explosion have reached a settlement with Energy USA and Smolinksy Brothers Plumbing for a total of $22 million.

The state fire marshal's office is proposing new regulations including training for anyone handling propane - and that includes those who use gas grills.

"These regulations will increase public awareness (about the) potential safety threat of un-odorized propane in commercial and residential settings. Every owner of a backyard barbeque grill uses propane which can potentially become a serious explosion risk if the odorant fades out of the gas and if there's a leak which goes undetected by the homeowner," attorney Marc Breakstone told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Monday.

Breakstone represented Nichols' family in the settlement.

They filed a lawsuit against the two companies back in January 2011.

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