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Nebraska family alleges negligence in house explosion death

August 29, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The children of a woman killed in a Lincoln house explosion last year are accusing the city, Lancaster County and gas utility Black Hills Energy of negligently causing her death.

Amy Roche and Matt Jasa have filed a more than $4 million tort claim over the August 2017 blast that killed their mother, Jeanne Jasa, The Lincoln Journal Star reported . The claim filing is required before a lawsuit can be filed against a Nebraska government agency.

A utility spokeswoman declined to comment on the pending litigation.

The family alleges Black Hills Energy infrastructure and its safety devices failed, allowing gas to fill the home. The claim seeks at least $2 million in damages for Jeanne Jasa’s pain and suffering, at least $2 million for her wrongful death and at least $75,000 for her medical bills.

“But for the negligent acts of Black Hills, Jeanne would be alive today,” attorney Brian Jorde said in the claim.

Lincoln police are still investigating the natural gas explosion and haven’t yet ruled out foul play.

Assistant City Attorney Elizabeth Elliott said she’s waiting for the police probe and for a review by the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office before making a recommendation to the City Council about whether to pay or deny the claim.

“I prefer to have all of the information before I make a decision,” Elliott said.

The family is waiting to review all available evidence before deciding on whether to file a lawsuit, Jorde said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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