Settlement receives preliminary approval in Merrimack Valley Explosions case

The Essex County Superior Court has preliminarily approved a class-action settlement that would compensate people and businesses impacted by the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions which occurred throughout the area in September 2018.

The settlement with Columbia Gas is set to compensate those who were living or operating businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on September 13, 2018. The preliminary approval by the court came after a hearing that occurred on October 7 of this year.

A final approval hearing will be held on February 7, 2020, per court documents.

The lead attorneys for the plantiffs in the class-action lawsuit released the following statement:

We are of course very pleased that the Court has granted preliminary approval of the settlement, and in so doing has started the notice and claims process. Today represents a significant step forward in bringing the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover the compensation they're entitled to in a timely manner.

We know many residents and business owners have questions about the settlement; we want them to know: we hear you. We want to provide a forum for community members to ask any questions they may have. To that end, we will be scheduling town hall meetings now that the terms of the settlement have been preliminarily approved – both in-person and online, in English and Spanish – to apprise people of their rights and the process for obtaining compensation as we move forward.

- Frank Petosa (Morgan & Morgan), John Roddy (Bailey & Glasser) and Elizabeth Graham (Grant & Eisenhofer