Settlement reached in Ghent explosion suits

By Cara Bailey | Jul 29, 2008

CHARLESTON - A global settlement has been reached for the survivors and families of a deadly explosion at a convenience store in Ghent.

Kent Carper, co-counsel of the plaintiffs, said the "large, complex case" was settled to the satisfaction of both parties, and that the parties agreed not to discuss the settlement. Benny Jones, a Beckley attorney, was Carper's co-counsel.

The January 2007 explosion occurred as workers were preparing to switch out propane tanks. Four people were killed, and five were critically injuried.

Seven lawsuits were filed on behalf of 17 plaintiffs in Raleigh Circuit Court. The suits that specified damages were seeking a total of $120 million. The first of the suits was scheduled to go to trial in March 2009.

Defendants include Little General, Godfather's Pizza, BP America, Appalachian Heating, Thompson Gas Propane Partners, Ferrell Gas, RegO Claimants Trust and Trinity Industries.

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