Baseball Star Sued for Home Explosion

     CHICAGO (CN) - Pro baseball player Adrian Beltre's Dominican Republic rental home exploded on Dec. 30 and he refuses to compensate his renter for her trauma and damages, she claims in Federal Court.
     Beltre, a journeyman third baseman, is signed to a 5-year, $80 million contract with the Texas Rangers, according to publicly available information. A native of the Dominican Republic, Beltre owns and rents a beach house ("Casa Playa") on the northern coast of the island, according to the lawsuit.
     Plaintiff Cheryl Berman claims she rented the house from Beltre for the year-end holidays last year, with the rental period beginning on Dec. 26.
     "On December 30, 2013, a fire started by the explosion of an improperly repaired
     gas line destroyed Casa Playa while Berman and her family (including an 8-month-old baby grandson) were residing there, incidentally destroying almost all of the property and belongings Berman had brought on vacation, and causing substantial trauma and direct or indirect expense," the complaint states.
     "Despite repeated requests, Beltre and/or his representatives have refused or neglected to compensate Berman for her losses, trauma and expenses."
     Berman says the fire gutted the master bedroom, destroying $24,000 worth of her personal property, giving her eyes a chronic itch from the smoke, and "leaving her essentially destitute in a foreign country, forcing her even to borrow toothpaste and underwear."
     She says she suffers from "continuing post traumatic stress, nightmares, loss of sleep, and difficulty concentrating on her normal work, as a result of this terrifying incident."
     Berman seeks more than $100,000 in damages for negligence.
     She is represented by S. Randolph Kretchmar of Wilmette.