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Defendant gas company found not liable in property damage lawsuit.

CenterPoint Energy
September 3, 2009

Plaintiff takes nothing.

On September 3, 2009, a jury sided with a defendant gas company which had been accused of improperly performing repairs and causing a house fire on the plaintiff's property. Donato, Minx, Brown & Pool served as defense counsel for CenterPoint Energy.

The facts.

On September 3, 2009, a jury returned a verdict in favor of a defendant gas company which had been blamed for causing a house fire on the plaintiff's property. In particular, the plaintiff alleged that a representative of the gas company had negligently attempted to repair a gas leak on the property in question prior to the fire.

The winning arguments.

Defense counsel denied liability and further contended the case was barred by the statute of limitations. As to the issue of negligence, defense counsel argued that the fire was an electrical fire and did not result from a gas leak. Defense counsel called a fire expert, who testified that the fire was caused by an electrical issue in a different room than the alleged gas leak. On the issue of standing, the defense argued it had not been timely served and that the plaintiff had sued the wrong entity. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant on both issues.

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