Owner injured in house explosion files lawsuit against Sears, delivery co.
The homeowner who was injured in the house explosion in Fitchburg in August filed a lawsuit Friday against Sears and an appliance installation company, alleging an uncapped gas pipe led to the explosion.
Brian K. Grittner and his attorney, Daniel Rottier, filed the lawsuit, which includes the man who installed a dryer in June 2011 and related insurance companies.
According to the lawsuit, Grittner and his attorney believe the explosion at 5573 Cheryl Drive on Aug. 25, which severely damaged the house and injured Grittner, was caused by the escape of natural gas through a pipe that had not been capped five years earlier. The complaint said the installer, who it claims didn’t have a valid license to operate the delivery truck, failed to cap the gas line after removing an old gas dryer and replacing it with an electric one in June 2011.
The day of the explosion, Grittner turned a valve that he thought shut off water to a backyard spigot, but actually opened the uncapped gas line, according to the complaint.
“Several hours later, while the plaintiff (Grittner) was on the main floor of the home, an explosion occurred which caused serious injury to the plaintiff as well as substantial property damage to his home as well as nearby structures,” the complaint said.
The complaint said Sears and Home Delivery Link Inc., of Madison, were negligent in the dryer removal and installation and were responsible for the August explosion.