Three persons were asphyxiated in a house in which they were sleeping when pressure caused by the settling of the house broke a gas pipe underneath. The house had no foundation but was supported by posts. Gas service had been discontinued eighteen years before, and the meter was removed at that time. The gas, however, had not been shut off at the curb but was allowed by the company to remain in the pipes beneath the house. The defendant gas company had made no inspection since the service had been discontinued. The plaintiffs, representatives of the deceased persons, brought actions, consolidated for trial, alleging that the defendant gas company was negligent in failing to inspect, maintain, remove and shut off the gas pipes. On appeal from a judgment dismissing the complaints, held, affirmed, three judges dissenting. Failure to shut off the gas at the street curb is not negligent per se, and a gas company is not under a duty to inspect premises beneath which pipes are laid unless it knows that there is possible danger. Shaw v. Wisconsin Power & Light Co., 256 Wis. 176, 40 N.W. (2d) 498 (1949).
Alan C. Boyd.,
NEGLIGENCE-GAS-DUTY TO INSPECT ABANDONED PIPES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol48/iss8/25