Columbia Gas to make payments in May, deadline extended to file a claim

Columbia Gas will be giving out settlement payments to those impacted by the 2018 gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley by mid-May.

The first round of lump-sum payments will be sent out to residents of Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence as a result of a class-action lawsuit against the utility company.

Those who have not filed a claim yet can do so by March 27, according to law firm Morgan and Morgan.

A motion was filed in court by the attorney behind the class action lawsuit to expedite payments “in light of the economic suffering brought on by the coronavirus crisis,” according to a co-lead plaintiff on the case.

The judge quickly granted that motion.

Columbia Gas was purchased by Eversource late last month after pleading guilty to causing a series of natural gas explosions in Massachusetts that killed one person and damaged dozens of homes.

The average family of four impacted by the gas explosions who files a claim could receive approximately $8,000 from the settlement.

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