In the wake of tragic incidents involving natural gas incidents, the search for justice and accountability becomes paramount. Companies like Atmos Energy, responsible for providing natural gas to millions of homes and businesses across the United States, are entrusted with ensuring the safety of their infrastructure. However, when failures occur and lives are lost due to negligence or misconduct, the need for legal representation from a wrongful death attorney becomes crucial.

If you have lost a loved one in an energy-related incident, take a look at the following guide. Below, the wrongful death attorneys at Kherkher Garcia provide insight into companies like Atmos and the tragedy of fatal events. We will also provide information about how wrongful death attorneys can help you hold companies accountable when their negligence causes harm to your family.

Fatal Atmos Energy Pipeline Explosions

Atmos Energy has unfortunately been involved in several pipeline explosions in recent years, raising concerns about pipeline safety and maintenance practices. A couple of examples of major incidents include:

  • February 2018:A series of explosions occurred in Dallas, Texas, over three days. These incidents resulted in the death of a 12-year-old girl, injuries to several others, and the destruction of multiple homes. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation attributed the cause to failures in cast-iron pipes, a material known for its susceptibility to corrosion and leaks.
  • June 2021:An explosion occurred in Lincoln County, Mississippi, during routine pipeline maintenance. Two workers were killed, and two others were injured. The NTSB investigation determined a leaking mainline valve allowed natural gas to accumulate and ignite, highlighting issues with leak detection and worker procedures.

Underlying Factors:

  • Aging infrastructure: Many of Atmos Energy’s pipelines are constructed from cast iron, a material prone to corrosion and leaks. While some states have banned cast iron pipes, Texas, where most incidents occur, has not.
  • Leak detection and maintenance practices: Investigations have identified shortcomings in leak detection protocols and worker training, contributing to incidents like those above.

Outcomes and Improvements:

  • NTSB recommendations: Following investigations, the NTSB issued recommendations to Atmos Energy and federal regulators, urging them to:
    • Accelerate the replacement of cast iron pipelines.
    • Enhance leak detection and monitoring practices.
    • Improve worker training and procedures for pipeline maintenance activities.
  • Atmos Energy’s response: Atmos Energy has implemented various measures in response to the incidents and NTSB recommendations, including:
    • Increasing the pace of cast iron pipe replacement.
    • Investing in new leak detection technologies.
    • Revising worker training protocols for pipeline maintenance.

It is important to note that these are just an example of major incidents involving Atmos Energy pipelines. There have been many incidents in recent years involving Atmos and related facilities, contractors, and nearby communities.

Understanding Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe a situation in which a person’s death is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or entity. In the context of incidents involving natural gas explosions, wrongful death claims may arise when it is determined that negligence on the part of a gas utility, such as Atmos Energy, contributed to the loss of life.

The Responsibilities of Atmos Energy

As a natural gas utility, Atmos Energy has a duty to maintain its infrastructure in a safe condition to prevent accidents and protect the public. This includes regular inspections, proper maintenance, and prompt response to any reported issues. When Atmos Energy fails to fulfill these responsibilities and it results in a fatal accident, they can be held liable for the damages incurred.

The Role of Wrongful Death Attorneys

Wrongful death attorneys specialize in representing the interests of the surviving family members of individuals who have died due to the negligence or wrongful actions of others. In cases involving natural gas explosions attributed to the negligence of companies like Atmos Energy, these attorneys play a crucial role in seeking justice on behalf of the victims and their families.

Here are some of the ways that the wrongful death attorneys at Kherkher Garcia support our clients and their families:

Expert Guidance Through the Legal Maze

Navigating the legal system after a loved one’s passing can be overwhelming. A wrongful death attorney understands the complexities of these cases and provides clear guidance throughout the process. This  ensures you can make informed decisions.

Thorough Investigation and Evidence Gathering

One of the primary tasks of wrongful death attorneys is to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident. This may involve:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Analyzing documentation related to maintenance records and inspection reports
  • Consulting with experts to determine the cause of the explosion and identify any instances of negligence on the part of Atmos Energy.

Accurate Assessment of Damages

Wrongful death claims encompass various losses, including:

  • Lost income or support
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering prior to death
  • Funeral costs
  • Emotional suffering

Your attorney will meticulously assess all these damages to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Legal Representation

Wrongful death attorneys provide legal representation to the surviving family members throughout the legal process. This includes filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Atmos Energy on behalf of the plaintiffs, advocating for their rights in court, and negotiating settlements if appropriate. The goal is to secure fair compensation for the damages suffered as a result of the loss of their loved one.

  • Skilled Negotiation and Settlement Pursuit: In many cases, reaching a settlement outside of court is preferable. Your attorney will leverage their negotiation expertise to secure a fair settlement that reflects the full impact of your loss.
  • Courtroom Representation if Necessary: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will represent you confidently in court. Your attorney will present a compelling case and advocate fiercely for your rights and the memory of your loved one.


Beyond the courtroom, wrongful death attorneys serve as advocates for their clients, ensuring that their voices are heard and their interests are represented in discussions with insurance companies, regulatory agencies, and other parties involved in the case. They work tirelessly to hold Atmos Energy accountable for their actions and to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Remember, this list is not exhaustive, and the specific ways an attorney helps can vary depending on the circumstances of your case.

Seeking Justice and Accountability

In cases involving wrongful death attributed to natural gas explosions, seeking justice and accountability is essential for the families directly affected. Furthermore, it is essential for the safety and wellbeing of the community at large. By holding companies like Atmos Energy accountable for their actions, we send a clear message that negligence will not be tolerated and that the lives lost will not be forgotten.

What Damages are Available in Atmos Wrongful Death Claims?

In wrongful death claims, various types of damages may be available to compensate the surviving family members for their losses and suffering. The specific damages awarded can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the claim is filed. Here are some common types of damages that may be available in wrongful death claims:

Economic Damages

These damages are intended to compensate for the financial losses incurred by the surviving family members as a result of the death of their loved one. Economic damages may include:

  • Loss of Financial Support: This includes the income and financial contributions that the deceased would have provided to their family members had they not died.
  • Loss of Benefits: Survivors may be entitled to compensation for the loss of benefits such as health insurance, pension benefits, etc.
  • Medical Expenses: Reimbursement for medical bills and expenses incurred as a result of the injury or illness that led to the wrongful death.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages are intended to compensate for the non-financial losses suffered by the surviving family members. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their death. Also, the pain and suffering endured by the surviving family members as a result of the loss.
  • Loss of Companionship: Compensation for the emotional pain and suffering resulting from the loss of the deceased’s companionship, guidance, and affection.
  • Loss of Consortium: Damages awarded to compensate for the loss of the marital relationship. This includes the loss of intimacy, support, and companionship.

Punitive Damages

In cases involving egregious misconduct or intentional wrongdoing, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are intended to serve as a deterrent rather than to compensate the survivors directly.

Funeral and Burial Expenses

Survivors may be entitled to reimbursement for the reasonable expenses incurred for the funeral, burial, or cremation of the deceased.

It is important to note that the availability and calculation of damages in wrongful death claims can be complex and may vary. Factors include state laws, the specific circumstances of the case, and the relationship between the deceased and the surviving family members. Consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help survivors understand their rights and pursue fair compensation for their losses.

Free Consultation with a Wrongful Death Attorney

Natural gas explosions resulting in wrongful death are devastating tragedies that demand accountability and justice. Wrongful death attorneys play a vital role in representing the interests of the surviving family members and holding companies like Atmos Energy accountable for their negligence.

At Kherkher Garcia, we have been helping families pursue justice against energy companies for more than 30 years. If you have lost a loved one due to a pipeline explosion or other energy-related incident, contact us as soon as possible. With a free consultation, we can assess your case and determine the best course of action, including potential wrongful death claims.

Call our team at 713-333-1030, or submit our online form to get started.

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Steve Kherkher

Steve Kherkher

Founding Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Founding Firm Partner Steve Kherkher. Steve has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 30 years. He has won $300 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. He is a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been catastrophically injured.

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