Woman injured in Portland explosion first to file lawsuit

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dental hygienist hit with shards of glass when a natural gas line exploded in Portland’s has filed a $689,000 lawsuit against the company responsible for the blast.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Gail Needham’s lawsuit filed Thursday is the first against the Loy Clark Pipeline Co. in the 1 ½ years since the massive explosion caused $17.2 million in damage to surrounding buildings. The blast also injured at least eight firefighters, police officers and residents in the upscale shopping district.

The Tualatin-based company has acknowledged causing the blast.

Loy Clark Pipeline spokeswoman Andrea Blessum said the company and its insurer have settled or closed 88 percent of the claims filed in the explosion. She declined to say how many people have sought compensation or how much money has been paid out.

She also declined comment on the lawsuit.