Furnace Installer Paying $5M for Fatal Sun Prairie Explosion

10/25/11 – A furnace installer has agreed to pay five-million-dollars to settle a lawsuit filed by the survivors of a fatal house explosion in Sun Prairie last November. 26-year-old Andrew Manley was killed in the blast. 27-year-old Steven Slack was paralyzed. And 27-year-old Lindsey Stephany was also hurt. All three lived in the house that was destroyed by the blast. Several neighboring homes also had damage. Investigators said it was caused by a gas leak from a furnace that was installed six days earlier in the Manley house. Madison lawyer Daniel Rottier tells the Wisconsin State Journal the settlement represented the maximum liability insurance carried by the furnace provider, Service Specialists of Dane County. He said his clients did not believe the settlement was enough to cover their losses – but they didn’t want to put the company out of business, either. Rottier said he asked the state Fire Marshal’s office to rule the explosion as an accident. Investigators had said they were not able to eliminate the possibility of either accidental or intentional human activity in the incident. The Justice Department, which oversees the fire marshal’s office, is not commenting on the request.