Gas Line Blamed for Lawn Mower Tragedy

     (CN) – A Kentucky woman was engulfed in flames after the blade of the mower she was operating came into contact with a gas line, the woman’s family claims in court.
     Modena Branson’s children say she was mowing her employer’s lawn using a riding mower on May 5, 2011, when the mower’s blade cut a high-pressure gas line that was exposed and unmarked by Columbia Gas of Kentucky. The contact caused an explosion that engulfed Branson in flames.
     “Defendant breached its statutory duty of care codified in the National Gas Code by failing to bury or cover the pipeline in a manner so as to protect the pipe line from physical damage and failing to securely and place the gas pipe line in a location where it would be protected from physical damage,” according to the complaint in Fayette Circuit Court.
     Branson died less than a year after sustaining severe burns in the accident, her two children claim.
     The family seeks punitive damages for negligence and failure to warn. They are represented by Brittany Koch of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland in Lexington, Ky.

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