Man Files Suit Over Sandman Hotel Explosion – The Dallas Express

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A Tarrant County man is suing a utility company and the managers and owners of a historic hotel in downtown Fort Worth for damages after an explosion ripped through the building on Monday.

The Sandman Signature Fort Worth hotel at 810 Houston St. was rocked by a presumed gas explosion originating from a basement-level restaurant. Although no casualties were reported, 21 people were injured, one critically, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Christopher Medearis, represented by Houston-based law firm Kherkher Garcia, has filed a lawsuit against Atmos Energy, Sandman Management, and Northland Properties Corp, seeking at least $1 million in damages. The suit alleges that the entities “failed to ensure the Sandman Signature Fort Worth Hotel was safe and that there were no conditions on the premises that posed an unreasonable risk of harm to others,” The Dallas Morning News reported.

Medearis, who was working in a nearby building at the time of the explosion, said he felt the building shake and smelled the “strong odor” of gas. He allegedly panicked, believing that something had struck the building. The lawsuit noted that Medearis fled the building, tripped, and fell. The fall allegedly resulted in an unspecified physical injury.

Although his physical injury was not identified in the filing, the lawsuit claims that Medearis experienced “mental anguish” after the explosion, causing insomnia, anxiety, and a racing heart.

“These companies brazenly failed to conduct operations in a safe manner consistent with policies and procedures, as well as the industry standards and best practices for working at or on a property where natural gas is present,” Jesus Garcia, an attorney with Kherkher Garcia, said in a statement, per KERA. “The defendants prioritized profit over safety with catastrophic results for those injured and their families, whose lives have been altered forever due to the negligence of these parties.”

Jim Adler and Associates, a personal injury law firm based in Dallas, explained on its website the personal injury and premises liability aspects surrounding the incident, noting the legal implications and considerations that a person should contemplate when determining whether to file a lawsuit.

Officials believe that gas was a factor in the explosion but have not issued a final determination on the cause of the blast.

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