Family, Ameren settle over fatal blast

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Survivors of an elderly Columbia couple who died in a natural gas explosion four years ago have settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Ameren Missouri.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/P5Z7jb) that Boone County court officials were told of the settlement Monday, one day before the case was to go to trial.

The blast in March 2008 destroyed the home of 87-year-old Carl Sneed and his 85-year-old wife, Merna. Both were retired professors at the University of Missouri. Carl Sneed taught mechanical engineering; his wife taught home economics.

The couple's three daughters sued Ameren Missouri claiming the utility failed to monitor a buildup of natural gas under the home.

Attorney Neil Johnson, representing the daughters, says the settlement was reached over the weekend. Details are confidential.

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