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Jury Awards Millions To Family After Gas Explosion

Last updated on Monday, November 28, 2011

(MARTINSVILLE) - A Morgan County jury has awarded the full $27 million in damages to the family that suffered serious injuries in a gas explosion at their home on Upper Patton Park Road in May 2004.

The jury found the plaintiffs, Lonnie Kindle, Courtney Frederick, Samuel Frederick, the estate of Stephan Frederick, Ciera Davis and Kenneth and Billie Joanna Davis suffered damages in excess of $27 million.

The defendants in the case were SCI Propane LLC, South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation and Rush Shelby Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.

The explosion on May 12, 2004, killed 32-year-old Steve Fredrick, and injured Lonnie Kindle, his niece Courtney Fredrick, the Fredrick's 2-year-old son Sam, and Sam's cousin, 2-year-old Sierra Davis. The blast leveled an indoor horse arena, office, and apartment at 3818 Upper Patton Park Road.

By agreement of the parties, the case, which was filed in October 2005, was split into two parts. The first part dealt with determining liability of the parties involved. The case was moved to Marion County.

In May 2010, after a month-long trial, the jury assigned 35 percent of the liability to William Kindle, who owns the property, 30 percent to Midland Impact LLC, and 17.5 percent each for South Central Indiana REMC and Rush Shelby REMC Inc. The jury found that SCI Propane LLC, SCI Services LLC, and White-Rodgers had no liability.

The decision in that case is being appealed.

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