Laborer injured in pipeline explosion seeks damages from Natural Gas Pipeline Co., Kinder Morgan

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Dec 17, 2018

CHICAGO – A farm worker injured when a plow came into contact with a natural gas pipeline alleges the pipeline system operator failed to maintain the line markers.

Michael Koster filed a complaint on Dec. 4 in Cook County Circuit Court against Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America LLC and Kinder Morgan Inc. citing the Illinois Public Utilities Act and common law negligence.

According to the complaint, on Dec. 5, 2017, the plaintiff was working as part of a four-person crew for his employer, M&R Farms, placing drain tile on agricultural land using a tile plow, tractors and other equipment. The suit states on that date, a tiling plow came into contact with the defendants' Illinois Lateral No. 1 Pipeline in Lee County, causing an explosion and fire.

As a result, the suit states the plaintiff suffered serious injuries, including severe second and third-degree burns, pain and suffering, disability, loss of a normal life, emotional distress, medical expenses, and lost earnings and earning capacity.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to inform M&R crew workers that there were buried pipelines on the property and neglected to maintain the line markers over a period of time.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendants for compensatory and punitive damages, costs and attorney fees. He is represented by David E. Rapoport, Matthew S. Sims and Melanie J. VanOverloop of Rapoport Law Offices PC in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 18-L-13071

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Circuit Court of Cook County Rapoport Law Offices PC.

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