Whistleblower: Her car was torched and finances trashed

  • Article by: ALEJANDRA MATOS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2013 - 1:57 PM

Two years after a gas line explosion, woman can't get CenterPoint Energy or city to pony up.

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allieaFeb. 9, 13 9:05 PM

Whistleblower used to be a vehicle to help people, if only by shaming those responsible for damaging victims. An active advocate for what is right using the power of the press. What we have here is an informative news article. What Whistleblower did here is not what you used to do. The poor lady deserves a real activist. Hounding, printing names of city and gas company contacts for others to contact, the reporter going right to the the president's offices like the original writer did - not some PR or legal office. Until they feel pressure they will stall all the innocent victims unfairly. Together they did it. Together they should pay up.

galljcFeb. 9, 13 9:17 PM

I'm confused. She mentions a $500 deductible so her car seems to be insured. Her insurance company should have provided her compensation minus the $500. While I'm sure she wants her $500 I don't see why this is such an issue. Or did she not make a claim or is the insurance company not paying? I would think the insurance company would be taking this up with Centerpoint or Minneapolis. Sorry this happened to you regardless of the details.

rafannonFeb. 9, 13 9:23 PM

Time to hire a lawyer... the courts can sort the blame out

swmnguyFeb. 9, 13 9:54 PM

Hopefully somebody at a local law firm reads this and takes up this woman's cause pro bono. This is a disgrace.

patasticFeb. 9, 1310:08 PM

In order for a pipe joint to fail, its gotta be in tension. Therefore, the pipe must have bent from soil yielding or eroding from beneath it. There's no pipe designed to support the weight of soil with nothing underneath it.

balderdashedFeb. 10, 13 6:05 AM

Actually, alliea, the Star Tribune's handling of this story seems appropriate to me. I share your outrage over the victim's predicament, and "shaming those responsible" is something I'm typically all in favor of. But the problem is, it's not clear who's responsible here. "Together they did it? Together they should pay up?" Maybe, or maybe not. If the city believes it was totally not a fault (which may be true), it would be unfair to taxpayers (including me) for the city to pay for something it didn't cause. Likewise, CenterPoint has a duty to its shareholders. I really don't know who's at fault here, and I don't think you do either -- I've seen local governments and corporations alike bend the truth to weasel out of their obligations. Or they may, quite legitimately, disagree. The time for "going right to the president's offices" is when the facts are clear, and you've him (or her) dead-to-rights. Otherwise, being "an active advocate," just so you can blame someone, is not a helpful strategy.

djcrazyFeb. 10, 13 6:26 AM

Centerpoint better hurry up and settle with this woman because if a lawyer takes it Pro Bono, they will pay much more. I wish her luck in this. The real problem here is how a big company with huge resources can drag it's feet for so long knowing that claimant cannot afford to go forward with a suit due to lack of financial resources. I see stories like this all too often. The same holds true for insurance companies.

amyj1001Feb. 10, 13 9:46 AM

I admit I'm pretty ignorant about this type of issue, because I've never had this problem. But shouldn't the car insurance company have paid up after the deductible, and then the insurance company could go after whoever was responsible to recoup the costs paid out to the customer?

DonnayFeb. 10, 1310:57 AM

I don't get it. She was insured, she's out $500 and time. She b ought a better car than she could afford and now is struggling. That's what happens in life. Why do we always have to find someone to blame, and someone to pay for all our troubles? Certainly there is someone who has been dealt a worse hand, and someone who deserves more of our sympathy.

parn0015Feb. 10, 1311:01 AM

I just sold a 1999 Grand Am in decent condition for $1000. It is not a valuable car and this woman is out, at most, $500. Time to get over it.


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