Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 13, 2013

Mich. utility agrees to pay after deadly blasts

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — LANSING, Mich. (AP) — One of Michigan's largest utilities has agreed to pay $1 million to create a new response fund after a natural gas line exploded, killing a Royal Oak man.

Attorney General Bill Schuette said Monday Consumers Energy will spend $900,000 to help victims affected by natural gas disasters with shelter, food and clothing. Another $100,000 will help study best safety practices and train utilities and first responders.

Also Monday, state regulators fined Consumers $430,000 for the February explosion that killed Daniel Malczynski (mal-ZIN'-skee) and damaged 30 homes and a 2010 furniture store explosion in Wayne that killed two employees.

Schuette says victims helped by the fund won't waive their right to sue the unit of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp.

The utility says it fully accepts the fines and agreement.