Insurer seeks damages from 2010 gas explosion
Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company brought the civil suit last week against the owner and developer of the Sewall Farms condominiums and several other defendants following the explosion caused by a propane gas leak inside Lori Breard’s condominium at 16 Cortland Ave., Stratham, on June 23, 2010.
Both suits allege that propane built up in the basement of Breard’s condominium because a gas utility was improperly installed and certain protective measures were not put in place.
Among other claims, the suits allege that a lawn mower from Hayden’s Yard Maintenance struck an unprotected gas pipe that protruded from the ground, causing the piping to leak and propane to build up in the basement.
At the time of the explosion, the wrongful death suit said Breard, 56, was heading down the stairs to the basement of her condominium between 2 and 3 a.m. The blast pushed Breard part way back up the stairs and caused her to catch fire, the suit said. The condominium also went up in flames.
Breard was a well-known real estate agent who managed the Exeter and Portsmouth offices of The Masiello Group.
The gas utility was installed by D.F. Richard and United Mechanical Inc. The suits allege that the companies were negligent in the way the gas utility was installed and that the exposed piping wasn’t properly guarded.
Both suits seek unspecified monetary damages.
“The injuries to the decedent required treatment in the form of medical care and required her, and her estate, to expend sums of money for hospital, medical care and other related care, and funeral, burial, and other related end of life expenses,” the wrongful death suit said.