14 people join Briercroft Manor suit - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

14 people join Briercroft Manor suit

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Fourteen people have joined an existing lawsuit against the owner of the Briercroft Manor apartment complex that exploded two weeks ago. They're seeking nearly $50,000 dollars each in damages.

Fire investigators say a gas utility fueled the explosion. Seven people were taken to the hospital.

Michael Mayo is one of the fire victims. He says he is suing Chester Campbell, the owner of Campbell Properties, because the entire incident could have been avoided. The lawsuit states Campbell failed to properly maintain the gas line.

"He had to be held accountable for this, because it was negligent on his part," Mayo said.

Mayo says he is still distraught by it all. The images of flames and the sounds of the explosion have not faded.

"I can close my close my eyes and I can still hear the screams and the crying," he said.

He says when he tried to get out of his apartment, the wall collapsed on him. The lawsuit explains his left leg was injured.

"I was in bed asleep and I woke up and I heard the loud boom," Mayo said.

Tommy Turner represents those named in the suit. He says they are asking for a trial by jury. However, the damages are going to be different for everyone.

"Some of the people that are going to be added were injured, some weren't. Some of the claims are for property damage only," Turner said.

The lawsuit goes into detail about several of the plaintiffs being asked to sign a release before they could get their security deposit and prorated rent back. The documents say that is against Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code.

Unfortunately, none of them had insurance. Still, Turner says losing irreplaceable items isn't easy.

"My heart goes out to those people. I've been in a house fire. I know what it means to lose everything," Turner said.

Mayo hopes this suit will pay for some of what he lost. In the meantime, he is trying to get his identity back. He says his license and social security card burned in the fire making it hard for him to find an apartment.

"When I asked to be re-housed, the property manager said you are not a priority, because you are by yourself," Mayo said.

We're told the lawsuit could take up to 18 months to be resolved. Two more people are expected to join.

The owner of the complex, Chester Campbell, says his attorney has advised him to not comment on any litigation.

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