Settlement in Deadly House Fire Lawsuit Over CSST in Lubbock

Published 07/24 2014 03:54PM

Updated 07/24 2014 06:32PM

By Evan Onstot

LUBBOCK, TX -- The lawsuit following a deadly Lubbock house fire will end in a settlement, and not a trial, has learned.
People familiar with the case said both sides have agreed to settle the lawsuit against the makers of CSST which is a corrugated stainless steel tubing used for natural gas lines inside new homes.  A Lubbock family said in court records that CSST is to blame for the death of a friend in their home.
Lightning struck the South Lubbock home of Meg and Ross Rushing in August of 2012.  Brennan Teel was killed in a backdraft explosion when he opened the door to their garage attic.  Investigators said the lightning punctured a hole in the CSST turning the tubing into a blowtorch.
Lubbock Fire Marshal Garett Nelson blamed the fire – and other recent lightning-induced fires in the Hub City – on CSST, and banned the product’s use in new construction within the city.  The Rushing’s filed their lawsuit against a number of defendants, including Titeflex, the makers of the CSST.
The trial for that lawsuit was set for this summer in Lubbock.  Because CSST is installed in as many as 10 million American homes by some estimates, the story and lawsuit attracted national attention.
But now, that trial will not happen.  Our sources say the details of the settlement will be kept confidential.   All that remains before the settlement becomes official is the paperwork.

Lubbock Chief Building Inspector Steve O’Neil said the moratorium on both yellow and black-coated CSST remains in effect.
The manufacturers of CSST insist the product is safe when properly installed.

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