A Rhode Island man died in his sleep on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, when his hotel room at the Holiday Inn and Suites in South Charleston, WV filled with carbon monoxide. Another man is still in critical condition, and at least a dozen more guests are being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
A swimming pool heater at the hotel was the source of the deadly carbon monoxide leak. The heater pump was fed by a pipe that went all the way through the building. The hotel had no carbon monoxide detectors.
Often called “the silent killer,” Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless gas that is produced when burning any fuel, such as gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil, wood, and charcoal. Carbon monoxide causes illness by decreasing the amount of oxygen present in a person’s body.
CO poisoning can often be mistaken for other illnesses, such as the flu. The most common symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. In severe cases, the person may lose consciousness or die. Often, other people in the place of business or household will exhibit similar symptoms.
In addition to death, carbon monoxide can cause severe learning disability, memory loss, and personality changes.
Hotel owners and landlords have the highest degree of responsibility to ensure that their facilities are safe for guests and tenants. Inspections and proper maintenance of equipment and heating units and the installation and maintenance of detectors are common-sense preventative measures one would expect any building owner to have in place.
If you or a loved one has experienced the devastating effects of carbon monoxide poisoning due to someone else’s negligence, please contact us at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC for help at http://www.robinettelaw.com or (304)594-1800.