LANSING — A Michigan court has cleared the way for a trial or financial settlement in the case of a home that was destroyed when a utility worker used a blowtorch to thaw an outdoor spigot.
The employee worked for the Lansing Board of Water & Light. There's no dispute that a house in Lansing owned by Cora Hobbs-Jackson burned down, and all her possessions were lost in February 2015.
The utility has governmental immunity in the case.
But the state appeals court said a jury can decide whether the employee was grossly negligent.
The court noted that the employee had a fire extinguisher in her car, but she didn't have it nearby when she used a blowtorch on the water spigot.
The spigot was surrounded by combustible materials.