ANDOVER (CBS) — Victims of the Merrimack Valley explosions have until Jan. 31, 2020 to file a claim with Columbia Gas after a recent court order extended the deadline. An overpressurized gas line owned by the utility caused explosions and fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover that killed one person and damaged more than 100 buildings.
Three town meetings will be held in Andover to help people file claims and answer questions.
“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, the plaintiff’s co-lead counsel, in a statement.
The $143 million settlement will pay claims for major losses and minor inconveniences, including evacuations, evacuation expenses, loss of gas service, heating expenses, lost wages, lost business income, property damage and emotional distress. Payouts can range from $50 to $15,000.
The town halls will be held on three Saturdays– Jan. 4, Jan. 18 and Jan. 25– at Greater Lawrence Technical High School at 57 River Rd., Andover, MA 01810.
Residents attending the town halls are asked to bring proof of residency in the affected area for the period of September 2018. For example, residents can bring utility bills, pay stubs, cell phone bills and lease agreements.
For more information, visit the settlement website.