Family in Elgin Home Gas Explosion Jan. 12 Files Lawsuit Against Nicor

Corboy & Demetrio Sues Nicor for Home Gas Explosion, Fire and Residents’ Injuries

Chicago, IL (January 29, 2010) Corboy & Demetrio personal injury lawyer Francis Patrick Murphy filed a lawsuit in Chicago against the gas company, Nicor, Inc., on behalf of homeowners Isaias Montes and Rutila Morales, their children, and Fabiola Martinez for injuries they suffered from a gas explosion and fire at Isaias and Rutila’s home in Elgin, Illinois (See video: The Cardinal: Utility Natural Gas Odor, Then House Explosion in Elgin: Six Injured). Attorney Murphy also sought a Protective Order for any and all evidence in the case.

On January 12, 2010, Isaias and Rutila, along with their two children and Fabiola Martinez, were at their home at 708 Elma Street in Elgin, Illinois, when they detected a strong odor of natural gas in an area outside by the driveway. They called Nicor, the gas company that provides service to their home, and told them of the problem. When the Nicor employees arrived, Isaias showed them the gas bubbles around the driveway and then they all went into the basement. The employees checked the air quality and told the family to open a window. When Isaias asked if the house should be evacuated, Nicor employees told him that the house was safe and there was no need to evacuate. The employees went out to the driveway and the family remained in the house.


As the Nicor employees began digging into the driveway with power tools, there was an explosion that knocked the walls of the house out causing the roof to fall to the floor. A fire began, which eventually destroyed the home.

Everyone in the house was injured. Isaias suffered second and third degree burns, his wife was severely bruised, as was his son, and his daughter suffered head injuries. Fabiola suffered a broken foot and facial and leg lacerations requiring stitches.

Upon filing the complaint, Attorney Murphy commented, “If only Nicor had turned off the gas to the area or had told the Morales to leave the house, the horrible injuries and damage to the house might have been avoided. As a result of Nicor’s incompetence, there has been tremendous suffering and a wonderful family’s life has been changed forever.”

Judge James Egan of the Circuit Court of Cook County granted the Protective Order. It provides that any evidence removed from the area of the explosion and fire and stored at Packer Engineering will be protected and not be changed or altered in any way.

Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation’s premier law firms — representing individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. The law firm is renowned for its achievements in the courtroom and for its contributions to the community. The rights and concerns of its clients are at the core of Corboy & Demetrio’s practice. That commitment, dedication, compassion and relentless drive has resulted in exceptional service and exceptional results for its clients. The firm has acquired more than $3 billion in settlements and verdicts and has attained almost 600 settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million.