Family of Minnehaha Receptionist Killed in Explosion Files Wrongful Death Suit

August 01, 2018 10:57 AM

Family members of the receptionist killed in the Minnehaha Academy explosion are suing the gas company and contractor who were involved in the moving a gas meter that led to the explosion.

The daughter and mother of Ruth Berg filed a wrongful death suit against CenterPoint Energy entities and Master Mechanical Inc.


RELATED: Fiancé Mourns Loss of Receptionist Killed in Explosion

According to the lawsuit, CenterPoint Energy installed and oversaw the gas lines within Minnehaha and Master Mechanical was contracted out by the company to move gas meters at the school.

The lawsuit sites a report from the National Transportation and Safety Board, which says while workers for Master Mechanical were moving a gas meter, "a full-flow natural gas line at pressure was opened."

RELATED: Minnehaha Academy Victim Ruth 'Dee Dee' Berg Remembered as Eternal Optimist

The lawsuit contends employees at Minnehaha Academy were not informed by the defendants of the "high degree of danger" that was being conducted in the school.

The lawyers for Berg's family also claim the defendants failed to inspect and close shut-off valves near the meter.

RELATED: 2 Dead after Minnehaha Academy Explosion

Once the gas main was moved and workers realized there were explosive conditions, the suit claims they ran for their safety instead of alerting staff of the dangerous situation.

A report from the NTSB claims the danger was discovered by a maintenance worker who tried to warn staff of the gas right before the school exploded.

WATCH: Extended Interview: Mark Burrington Remembers his Fiancee, Ruth Berg

The lawyers for Berg's family argue, "The employees and agents of the Defendants, and each of them, who were responsible for the meter relocation project committed a series of blatantly unsafe, unreasonable and otherwise highly dangerous acts with deliberate disregard for the rights and safety of others."

Berg's family is seeking payment for damages in excess of $50,000. A jury trail for the case has been requested.

TIMELINE: Explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis


Ben Rodgers

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