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Royal Oak

Lawyer plans to hold utility accountable for explosion

March 12, 2013

» click to enlarge «
Firefighters and Consumers Energy employees chat Feb. 28 among the wreckage of the house that exploded on Cooper Feb. 27. It was less than 24 hours after the explosion shook the neighborhood and killed 58-year-old resident Daniel Malczynski.

ROYAL OAK — Developments from the house explosion at 4232 Cooper continue as neighbors slowly returned to their homes on the surrounding streets last week.

Stuart Sklar, an attorney representing the family of Daniel Malczynski, who was killed, believes the cause of the Feb. 27 explosion was a boring drill rupturing a gas pipe while a trio of Consumers Energy employees were working to replace a gas main on Cooper earlier the same day. Consumers Energy said in a press release the day after the incident that “a gas service line to the house was damaged and was the possible cause of the explosion.”

The house exploded at 5:06 p.m., killing Malczynski, 58, and damaging 30-35 nearby residences with a blast heard 3 miles away.

“We want to know what happened, why it happened and how it can be prevented in the future,” said Sklar.

Malczynski was a retired General Motors employee who had worked at the GM assembly plant in Lake Orion while putting three daughters through Royal Oak schools. He lived alone and is suspected to have been asleep when the explosion occurred, officials said.

In a March 7 release, Consumers Energy reiterated how they were helping the surrounding neighbors to move forward.

“We have performed extensive gas safety testing in the area as residents returned to their homes on Friday and Saturday (March 1-2),” the release said. “Employees tested for the presence of gas in and around homes, made sure appliances were relit and operating, and pressure-tested the customer-owned fuel lines of each home to help allay residents’ concerns.

“A team of employees met with residents and businesses in a wider area around the site, identifying any concerns and offering additional safety testing. We have reached out to the Royal Oak school district offering safety training and educational programs for students, teachers and administrators.”

Additionally, Consumers Energy has suspended all boring projects throughout the state and is reviewing and validating standard operating procedures before resuming boring operations.

Sklar said Consumers Energy’s boring team nearly drilled into another pipeline a few houses down from Malczynski’s house, coming within an inch of hitting it and causing a second potential incident the same day.

Dodd said she could not comment beyond the press release.

“We’re going to reconvene at the scene,” Sklar said, noting that legal action could be on the way. “We intend on taking the appropriate action to hold Consumers Energy accountable, yes.”

The Michigan Public Service Commission, National Transportation Safety Board and local authorities continue to investigate the explosion.

In light of the incident, several people who were on site assisting neighbors immediately after the explosion were honored with framed certificates at the Royal Oak City Commission meeting March 4, including James Greenway, Kate Sikora, Nicholas Sikora, Christopher Chase, Carl Vargo and Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sgt. Greg Glover.

To avoid similar incidents in the future, Consumers Energy encourages residents who smell a “rotten egg” odorant to immediately call them from a safe location at (800) 477-5050.

For more local news coverage, see the following newspaper:

Can't blame the lawyer his job is to advocate for the decadent's estate. When Lawyers get quoted about cases, I wonder if they even understand the meaning of what they say or if they just read it out of manual and commit it to memory.
Sklar's Comments:

“We want to know what happened, why it happened and how it can be prevented in the future,” said Sklar.

That has to be memorized lawyer speak. That is unless of course he's the only one in Michigan that doesn't know the answer to those questions.

What Happened?

The house exploded, if you live in Michigan and haven't discussed it at least 15 times with 15 different people, your not getting out enough start circulating.

Why did it happen?

You really don't mean to ask why did it happen, anytime gas and fire get together something like this happens. Instead let me ask you Mr Sklar Why wouldn't it happen?

How can it be prevented in the future?

Saving the best for last eh, Mr. Sklar. As long as our physical realities remain unchanged along the time-space continuum that we have become accustomed to here on Planet Earth I can safely say, when you spark some gas fumes that are enclosed in any way your going to get an explosion.
All and all Mr. Sklar you got yourself, what I would call a slam dunk. What I'm saying is your not going to have to use all you've learned at Harvard Law to get this thing paid. I suppose that a suit like this is very valuable to a lawyer not only based upon the money to be made on this claim, but the publicity alone from this case will get your name in the paper and keep it there, the result will be a huge amount of future accidents. Soon, Sklar and Explosion are going to go hand and hand. Therefore, why don't you reduce the fee to the family that lost their father, if you did reduce your fee, I will recommend you every time anything explodes. It sure would make it easier to read the quotes the paper attributed to you.

Thank you for a balanced article. Some detail follows Mr. Sklar's mission statements.

“We want to know what happened, why it happened and how it can be prevented in the future,” said Sklar

“We intend on taking the appropriate action to hold Consumers Energy accountable, yes.”

I hope Mr. Sklar is not out to make history for himself. This is a tragic incident, that can happen with construction of this type... by any underground construction Company, anywhere! This incident will get full investigation and recording by many levels of governing agencies. Ms. Dodd stated on local television broadcasts, within 24 hours of the explosion, something like... Consumers Energy accepted responsible for this fatal tragedy and incident. Ms. Dodd stated, Consumers most importantly offered condolences to the family of Mr. Malczynski, and stated Consumers would work with all area people to restore the their belongings, homes and area. What more "accountable... action", does Mr. Sklar want? Pray for Mr. Malczynski and his Family, and Mr. Sklars patience.


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