Parents File Suit Against BGE After 8-Year-Old Son Killed In Gas Explosion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Taking legal action. The family of a little boy killed in a gas explosion files a hefty lawsuit against energy giant BGE. They say the utility could have prevented his death.

Meghan McCorkell spoke with his grieving parents.

The parents of Troy Douglas say they filed a lawsuit so that no family ever has to go through this again.

A haunting scene. Bystanders dig through bricks, searching for eight-year-old Troy Douglas.

“He was just coming home from school,” his mother, Shanika Brown, said.

The third grader was walking down Lakewood Avenue in February when a rowhome exploded, killing him. A fire investigator ruled the cause “natural gas coming into contact with an ignition source.”

Neighbors tell WJZ they often smelled gas in the area. Now Douglas’ family has filed a lawsuit against BGE, claiming the company bares responsibility in their son’s death.

“It’s sad that I had to lose my son for them to get out here and do the thing that they’re doing now,” said father Troy Douglas Sr.

BGE released a statement to WJZ, saying in part: “Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Troy Douglas. The investigation is ongoing and we are committed to understanding the full dynamics of the event.”

Legal expert Byron Warnken ( says the case will all come down to those dynamics.

“You’re going to have to prove what caused it. Causation is the problem, and I would imagine it becomes a battle of the experts,” he said.

Just last month, the city renamed the street where the explosion happened Troy Douglas Way.

While they appreciate community support, Douglas’ parents say this tragedy should have been prevented.

“It’s hard, very hard,” Brown said. “Because he still could be here.”

“This can’t happen again,” Douglas added.

The family has filed a wrongful death suit against BGE in excess of $75,000.

Two people who were inside the house at the time of the explosion survived the blast.

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