The city of Columbus agreed last week to pay a total of $649,000 to Upper Arlington residents whose houses were damaged by a 2015 explosion on Sunningdale Way.
Columbus City Council voted 6-0 to settle lawsuits with Upper Arlington homeowners whose houses were damaged or destroyed.
Councilman Mitchell Brown was absent.
Investigators ruled the explosion that destroyed the house of Hidefumi and Mariko Ishida, 3418 Sunningdale Way on March 21, 2015, was caused by a Columbia Gas of Ohio service line that had been "improperly abandoned." A Columbus Water Department worker mistook the gas line for a water line and unwittingly opened the line, then failed to shut it off during a service call.
The explosion reduced the Ishida house to rubble, rendered seven other residences in the neighborhood uninhabitable and blew out windows, cracked drywall and caused other damage to another 22 houses.
The Ishidas were out of the country at the time of the incident, and no one was injured despite the widespread damage to the neighborhood and debris being blown across Sunningdale Way and into nearby lawns and trees.
The Columbus settlement is with 36 people, although some were affiliated with the same residences. Attorneys for each party also will receive a portion of the payouts.
The agreement stipulates the Ishidas and their attorneys would receive $216,089.
John Annarino, Glenna Annarino and John A. Annarino and their attorneys were given $77,500 through the settlement, and $62,500 will go to Daniel and Cynthia Schafer and their attorneys.
Other payments range from $5,000 to $50,000 to 13 other homeowners and their legal representatives.
"After two and a half years of hard work, we're glad the parties were able to work cooperatively toward an agreement," Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement. "These settlements are a fair resolution for everyone involved."
Columbus' settlement agreement states the payouts will come from the city's water operating fund.
The city of Upper Arlington also has agreed to pay a total of $80,000 to residents affected by the explosion. Those costs will be covered by the Central Ohio Risk Management Association and insurance, Upper Arlington Deputy City Manager-Community Affairs Emma Speight said.
"The city has been represented in the litigation by CORMA-appointed defense counsel," Speight said. "CORMA is the Central Ohio Risk Management Association, of which the city is a member.
"Upper Arlington, through counsel, has reached an agreement to pay a total of $80,000 to settle all claims against the city," she said. "These settlements will not be paid directly with city funds but through CORMA and its insurance carriers."
Columbia Gas of Ohio has also settled claims resulting from the explosion but those details have not been made public.
"Columbia Gas has reached separate settlements with the various litigants in the court cases arising out of the March 2015 incident in Upper Arlington," said Kelli Nowinsky, a Columbia Gas of Ohio spokeswoman. "The amounts paid for each settlement is confidential."