The deadline for residents and businesses to file a claim for a portion of the $143 million legal settlement related to the September 2018 natural gas explosions in Massachusetts has been extended to the end of the month by a court order, an attorney says.
To help people file claims or answer questions, lawyers for the plaintiffs who sued Columbia Gas of Massachusetts have scheduled three meetings this month, on January 4, 18 and 25 at Greater Lawrence Technical High School in Andover.
“Anyone who was impacted by this event is encouraged to file a claim – even if they already filed a claim through insurance or through the Columbia Gas-managed process,” said Elizabeth Graham, co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
An average family of four could get $1,050 to $9,500 based on the severity of disruption caused by the disaster, she said.
The $143 million settlement first announced in July will pay claims for major losses, as well as any minor inconveniences experienced including evacuation expenses and emotional distress.
The explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Sept. 13, 2018, killed one person, injured about 25 others and damaged or destroyed more than 100 buildings.
The National Transportation Safety Board concluded the disaster was caused by an overpressurized gas line during a planned pipeline replacement project.
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