LAWRENCE (CBS/AP) – The family of a teenager killed in the Merrimack Valley gas explosions plans to sue Columbia Gas.

Attorney Doug Sheff told reporters Thursday that Columbia Gas was reckless and should have to pay for last month’s death of 18-year-old Leonel Rondon.

Rondon was killed when a home exploded and a chimney collapsed, crushing the car he was sitting in with 18-year-old Christian Figueroa and Figueroa’s 17-year-old brother.

Leonel Rondon (Facebook photo)

Sheff says Rondon’s family “wants justice” and to “find meaning in such a senseless death.” He says a wrongful death lawsuit will be filed at a later date.

Rondon, a high school junior, was the only person killed in the gas explosions. He had received his driver’s license just hours earlier.

Last month, the Figueroa family announced they are suing Columbia Gas for “gross negligence.” The family lost their home — where Rondon was killed — in the explosions.

Their lawsuit holds the utility responsible for “substantial personal injury and profound pain and suffering they are experiencing,” their attorney said in September.

A home on Chickering Road in Lawrence exploded Sept. 13, 2018. The chimney crushed an SUV, killing Leonel Rondon. (WBZ-TV)

Two explosions rocked the Figueroa family’s home on Chickering Road. Shakira Figueroa has endured several surgeries for her injuries, the lawsuit states.

A Columbia Gas spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email. The National Transportation Safety Board says over-pressurized gas lines caused the explosions.

Full gas restoration in the area was planned for Nov. 19, but that date may now be pushed back.

Officials say they will have a better idea of a timeline by Monday.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments