Settlement reached in deadly Teaneck house blast

(AP) - Public Service Electric & Gas will pay $450,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a man killed in

TEANECK - (AP) - Public Service Electric & Gas will pay $450,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a man killed in a 2008 house explosion.

Sixty-six-year-old Richard Haas, who lived alone in the three-story Teaneck home, died after leaking natural gas ignited inside. The July 2008 blast leveled the house and damaged five other homes.

Residents had reported a strong natural gas odor about two weeks before the blast occurred, but it's still not clear what caused the leak or how the gas was ignited. The incident remains under investigation by state and utility officials.

The Record reported the agreement Saturday.

Kenneth Berkowitz, the estate's attorney, said a confidentiality agreement barred him from discussing the settlement.

The newspaper says Hass' beneficiaries will split about $300,000, with the rest going toward legal fees.

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