A $50 million lawsuit has been filed against Consumers Energy after an explosion in Flint killed two people and damaged several homes.
Fieger Law, who filed the lawsuit, states the 55-year-old woman who died in the explosion reported an odor of gas the morning of the incident, Nov. 22. Consumers Energy stated after completing its investigation, it found no issues with its natural gas system leading up to the explosion.
"It's horrible to wake up one day and find out that your mother, who is perfectly healthy, who is alive and well, died as a result of her home exploding. Who would think of that?" said Geoffrey Fieger, who represents Lisa Rochowiak's family. "The explosion was clearly the result of a gas leak we believe occurred outside of the premises."
After completing its investigation, Consumers Energy has announced it found no issues in its natural gas system leading up to the Flint home explosion Nov. 22.
Fieger believes Rochowiak's death could have been prevented.
"Lisa had called the Consumers Power Company to investigate a gas leak. Other neighbors have contacted us indicating that they called as early as Nov. 16 about a gas leak. And Consumers never did anything," Fieger said. "We'd like to know who declared war on Hogarth Avenue and dropped a bomb on Lisa Rochowiak's house if it wasn't a gas explosion."
Consumers Energy’s role in the investigation was completed after it’s field evaluation was completed, a company spokesperson stated. Consumers Energy issued the following statement on the lawsuit:
"Consumers Energy is aware of a lawsuit filed following the November house explosion in Flint. Our hearts continue to go out to residents of this community. We have completed field evaluation of our equipment, facilities and service, working alongside law enforcement and other agencies. Our investigation shows there were no leaks or other issues relating to our natural gas system, equipment, or service outside the home. Additionally, Consumers Energy has reviewed internal call logs and vehicle tracking data, all of which confirms that we were not notified of a gas leak in the home or any related issue prior to the incident. Contrary statements in the lawsuit documents are false, and the legal claims are baseless."
The explosion also killed a 4-year-old girl, injured two other people and damaged or destroyed 27 homes.
The case has been assigned to Genesee County Judge Joseph J. Farah.