A mother and daughter injured in the 1985 explosion of the Goldminer's Daughter lodge in Alta dropped their suit against the lodge, the company that built it and a natural gas supplier after the three companies paid them an undisclosed amount.
Cal Gas, a natural gas supplier, paid the bulk of the settlement to Ellyn Wiens and her daughter, Louise. "We paid a nominal amount, a `nuisance' amount," said an attorney for Buehner Concrete Products Corp., the company that designed and built the wing of the lodge that collapsed during the explosion. "The remainder was paid by Cal Gas," he said.An explosion shook the lodge at 2 p.m. March 15, 1985. The north wing of the lodge collapsed, fracturing Ellyn Weins' pelvis and trapping Louise Weins under the rubble for eight hours.
An investigation of the accident revealed that the natural gas line into the lodge - constructed by Cal Gas - was faulty, allowing natural gas to seep into the building. The gas ignited, causing the explosion.
Three were killed in the explosion and several injured.
The suit claimed that guests of the lodge had repeatedly complained of the smell of gas in their rooms. "On occasion, the smell of gas was so overwhelming as to make some of the rooms uninhabitable for a period of 24 to 48 hours," the suit said.
The gas caused a previous explosion March 26, 1984, yet the owners of the Goldminer's Daughter persisted in ignoring the problem, the suit said.
The Wiens sued Cal Gas because they said the company should have known the ground around the Goldminer's Daughter required flexible joints in the gas pipeline leading from the 6,000-gallon storage tank into the building. A breach in a joint leached the gas into the ground and building.
The settlement of the Wiens' suit is the second sizeable settlement Cal Gas has paid out in three months.