Cowtown Hotel Explosion Lawsuits Increase

Sandman Hotel explosion
Sandman Hotel explosion | Image by Peter Matthews/Fort Worth Fire Department

The fallout from the Sandman Hotel explosion in downtown Fort Worth last month is lingering, with some local business owners considering legal action as they struggle amid the ongoing cleanup.

The explosion, which occurred on January 8, left 21 people injured, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported.

One month on, crews are still working on cleaning up the wreckage left behind. For local business owners, however, the ongoing work has meant less traffic through their doors.

Now, law firm O’Hanlon, Demerath, and Castillo, located on West 8th near the site of the explosion, is considering filing a lawsuit on behalf of their firm and other struggling small businesses nearby.

Numerous lawsuits have already been launched as a result of the explosion. Last month, Christopher Medearis initiated a suit against Atmos Energy, Sandman Management, and Northland Properties Corp, seeking a minimum of $1 million in damages. Medearis, who was working in a nearby building when the explosion occurred, alleges the entities failed to ensure the hotel was safe.

Later in the month, DX reported on another lawsuit against Northland Properties, hotel restaurant Musume, Atmos Energy, Rock Libations, Sandman Hotel Group, and SBBC Hospitium, filed on behalf of Karen Mayte Lopez Ontiveros, who was injured during the explosion. She claims to have detected gas in the building and tried to warn her superiors. According to the suit, no action was taken.

On January 30, DX reported that Atmos Energy had filed a lawsuit to absolve itself from cases seeking damages. According to the company, it is named in nine cases representing 33 individuals.

Referring to the latest potential lawsuit being considered by O’Hanlon, Demerath, and Castillo, Tim Ballard, owner of Cowtown Segway Adventures, a business affected by the explosion, claims he lost upwards of 45% of foot traffic due to the incident. As a result, Ballard is considering joining the suit.

“Of course, we would consider being a part of that,” Ballard told CBS News Texas.

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