BGE and families settle lawsuit over fatal house explosion

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. confirmed Thursday that it has settled a lawsuit brought by residents of an East Baltimore rowhouse partially destroyed in a gas explosion and the family of an 8-year-old boy who was killed in the blast.

The family of Troy Douglas, the boy who was killed, and Henry Gaither and Danelle White, who lived in the house in the 400 block of N. Lakewood Ave., sued BGE in May over the explosion.

The suit filed by Troy's family alleged that the company had failed to properly maintain its gas lines. As a result, combustible gas pooled in the basement of the home before the blast, according to the suit.

"The death of a child is always a tragic situation," BGE spokeswoman Valencia McClure said in a statement. "The parties can confirm that the cases of Troy Douglas and the residents … are resolved."

"The resolution of the suits are confidential and the parties have no further comments."

McClure said the statement was issued on behalf of the parties in both lawsuits, and the residents' attorney could not be reached. The lawyer for Troy's family confirmed the settlement in an email but did not comment further.

In February, Troy was walking home along the street from nearby William Paca Elementary School when the explosion occurred. His crushed body was found under a section of the house's wall.

Justin Worthington, another child who was walking just behind Troy, was also injured. His family has sued, but that suit remains open, according to their attorney.

Since the explosion, the block has been renamed in Troy Douglas' honor.

Today, the charred shell of the building remains at the corner of Lakewood Avenue and Jefferson Street, where a collection of tributes to Troy lie behind a chain-link fence.

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