Blast victim’s family to receive $323,000

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – The family of a Topeka woman who died in a natural gas explosion will receive about $323,000 of a $709,000 settlement.

A Shawnee County judge on Tuesday approved settlements and dismissed three lawsuits linked to the blast that killed 81-year-old Lucinia Tolliver in January 2012. The blast destroyed Tolliver’s home and injured a neighbor.

Tolliver died four days after the explosion. She was a retired employee of The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/1odkdQV ).

The lawsuits contended workers for N-Line Lawn Service installing a lawn sprinkler accidentally moved a gas line owned by Kansas Gas Service, eventually causing the explosion. One lawsuit sued an employee for Factory Direct Appliance, who told Tolliver he smelled natural gas and then left her home.

The remainder of the settlement will go to insurance and legal fees.

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