Maine Revised Statutes

§165. Liability of those who store or distribute natural gas

1. Liability without proof of negligence.  A natural gas company or an intrastate or interstate natural gas pipeline company that stores, transports or distributes natural gas is liable for all acts and omissions of its servants and agents that cause death or injury to persons or damage to property resulting from explosions or fire caused by natural gas escaping from the natural gas storage, transportation or distribution system under its control or from explosions or fire caused by defects in the natural gas storage, transportation and distribution systems under its control.
[ 1997, c. 222, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Rebuttable presumption.  When there is death or injury to persons or damage to property resulting from explosions or fire caused by escaping natural gas, there is a rebuttable presumption that the gas escaped because of a defect in a portion of the storage, transportation or distribution system under the company's control.
[ 1997, c. 222, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Exceptions.  The company is not liable for death or injury to persons or damage to property caused by:
A. An act of God or war; [1995, c. 299, §1 (NEW).]
B. Fault of the plaintiff to the extent that the plaintiff's fault bars or reduces the plaintiff's recovery under section 156; or [1995, c. 299, §1 (NEW).]
C. Intervening fault of a 3rd party for whose actions the company is not legally liable. If death or injury to persons or damage to property is caused by the combined fault of the company and other parties, the liability of the company is joint and several with those other parties. [1995, c. 299, §1 (NEW).]
[ 1995, c. 299, §1 (NEW) .]
4. Indemnity.  In the event that the company is exposed to liability under this section because of the negligence of a 3rd party, the 3rd party shall indemnify the company for the company's losses, including any damages awarded or negotiated through settlement to any party, and costs and attorney's fees.
[ 1995, c. 299, §1 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1975, c. 186, (NEW). 1995, c. 299, §1 (RPR). 1997, c. 222, §1 (AMD).