LAWRENCE (CBS) – Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera is asking a judge to reject Columbia Gas’s settlement for the Merrimack Valley gas explosions.
Rivera said he thing too much of the money is going to lawyers. “At it’s core, this settlement favors interests of the class action attorneys and not the victims in the three communities that were and continue to be directly impacted,” he said.
Columbia Gas has agreed to settle for $143 million following the 2018 natural gas explosions in Merrimack Valley. The lawyers would receive 16.5 percent of the settlement.
Rivera said in a letter to the court that translates to more than $44,000 per day if the lawyers worked during each of the 532 days between the Sept. 12 explosions and the next court date of Feb. 27, 2020.
Columbia Gas said in a statement released Wednesday, “The $143 million settlement is an important step forward as the company continues to fulfill its commitments to affected residents and businesses.