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Atmos Energy, Family Of 12-Year-Old Linda 'Michellita' Rogers Settle Wrongful Death Suit After Deadly 2018 Explosion

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Atmos Energy has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of the 12-year-old girl who was killed in a 2018 natural gas explosion at her home in northwest Dallas.

The terms of the settlement have not been revealed, but the attorney for the family of Linda "Michellita" Rogers says the girl's parents are pleased.

A gas buildup led to an explosion that killed Michellita in February 2018.

Linda Michellita Rogers
Linda Michellita Rogers

There had been three such explosions in the area in three days.

The lawsuit accused Atmos of negligence for not warning the neighborhood.

Internal Atmos emails revealed its employees were probing and fixing gas leaks behind the Rogers family home before the explosion.

The Texas Legislature recently passed two natural gas safety bills that are awaiting the governor's signature.

They would require natural gas pipeline workers to remove all cast-iron pipes from their systems by the end of 2021. It would also mandate them to increase the number of potentially hazardous pipes they annually replace to 8% from 5%.

The bills came after a probe found that over two dozen homes had blown up in North and Central Texas since 2006. The explosions killed nine people and severely hurt at least 22 others due to natural gas leaks on lines operated by Atmos.

The measure would also prohibit the future use of cast-iron, wrought-iron or bare steel pipes. Cast-iron pipe under some of the blasted homes was nearly 90 years old.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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