Three Deaths in same Motel Room within Two Months from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is emerging as the most likely cause of death of an 11-year-old boy and two elderly guests in the motel room almost two months apart in Boone NC.

Boone police said emergency responders found elevated levels of the gas in the Best Western room where the young boy died on Saturday.

Police say a preliminary post mortem found the boy died from asphyxia, which happens when toxic gases cut off oxygen to the body.

The boy’s mother was rushed to hospital and survived. She is in a stable condition.

An elderly couple was found dead in the same motel room on April 16.

Police said new toxicology results show that elderly couple also died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The hotel on East King Street in Boone remains closed while investigators focus on the heating system for the pool.

The room where all three people died is above the pool.  The pool permit was suspended on March 16 after inspectors noted ventilation problems in the chemical and equipment room.  The pool had since reopened, but it could not confirm the problems had been fixed.

Duty to Protect from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning — Business and Home Owners

Unfortunately not every hotel or apartment is equipped with functional CO monitors — which means that unwary occupants are potentially exposed to this silent killer.  Hotel guests and tenants of apartments should not be required to wear personal monitors for these type of preventable exposures.  All owners of property, even home owners, should conduct annual inspections of their gas furnaces and hot water heaters that are fueled by natural gas, liquid propane gas or heating oil.  A certified heating and ventilation inspector should ensure that the furnace and water heaters are in good working order and properly vented.   Clogged chimneys and vent pipes often cause a backup of CO gas that eventually escapes to other areas of a dwelling.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

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.

West Virginia Carbon Monoxide Wrongful Death Attorneys

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 to prevent these senseless tragedies.

Robinette Legal Group has represented CO injury victims and the families of individuals who have died from CO exposure.  Jeff Robinette is a National Board Certified Trial Lawyer and has the experience to handle your carbon monoxide exposure case.  If you or a loved one has experienced the devastating effects of carbon monoxide poisoning , please contact us at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC for help at http://www.robinettelaw.com or (304)594-1800.

 

Injured in WV? Get the Facts.

Free Books for WV Accident Victims:

Beside Still WatersRighting the WrongsCollision Care

Click on book image for immediate download, or if you are a WV injury victim, call 1-304-594-1800 or email our office today to have a soft cover book sent to your home at no cost or obligation to you.

Collision Care: A Guide for West Virginia Accident Victims will give you the basic facts that you must know in order to make the best decisions for your present and future circumstances and to help you achieve the best result possible regarding your injury claim. (87 pages)

Righting the Wrong: West Virginia Serious Injury Guide provides serious injury victims and their families essential information about the insurance claims process to enable them to maximize their efforts to rebuild their lives. (161 pages)

Beside Still Waters: West Virginia Fatal Injury Guide provides surviving family members the information they need in order to pick up the pieces of their lives to enable them to rebuild a financial future for themselves and their children. (123 pages)

Click on a book cover image for a free immediate download, or if you are an injury victim or family member, call our office today to have a soft cover copy sent to your home. Due to limited availability, there is a limit of one book per family.

All of these books can also be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble for $16.95 each, plus shipping, but if you act now, Jeff will send it to you at No Cost or obligation.

Some of the useful information you will find in these books:

  • What Are My Legal Rights?
  • What Is Legal Liability?
  • What Is Comparative Fault? What happens if we were both at fault?
  • How Do I Prove My Claim? What documentation must I provide?
  • For What Damages May I Receive Compensation?
  • Do I Really Need A Lawyer? How to choose the right lawyer for your case.
  • Can I Afford A Lawyer?
  • Financial Motivation Of The Insurance Company – to minimize their pay-outs and maximize their own profit.
  • What is a wrongful death?
  • Statements and Authorizations – Think twice and get advice before you sign that release!
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  • Spoliation of Evidence , vehicle salvage issues.
  • And much, much more!

Bonus Information: The Anatomy of a Real-life Injury Case and 10 Ways to Ruin Your Case

Our Mission
Morgantown lawyer and principal attorney, Jeff Robinette, shares what he believes is the mission of the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC. The primary objective of a personal injury law firm is to help the average person who has been the victim of negligence against the powerful resources of the insurance industry.

About the Author:

Jeffery L RobinetteJeffery Robinette is a personal injury lawyer with decades of insurance litigation and trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Prior to representing injured individuals exclusively, Mr. Robinette was a partner in a major West Virginia law firm where he focused his legal practice on defending serious personal injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits stemming from auto and truck collisions. He has also represented the nation’s largest and most powerful insurance companies at all levels of litigation including jury trials and appeals in state and federal courts in West Virginia.

Mr. Robinette taught insurance companies and their adjusters how to follow insurance laws and regulations, including how to adjust insurance claims in good faith. He was a frequent speaker at insurance conferences on West Virginia insurance law.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers.  Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800.  We are glad to answer your questions.

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: New Legislation Needed in West Virginia

Should Carbon Monoxide Detectors Be Required in all Hotels, Businesses, and Rental Housing Units?

A task force met in Kanawha County, WV on Friday, February 3rd.  Representatives from the health department, fire department, and emergency services, and code enforcement met to discuss how to prevent such deaths and poisonings from occurring in the future.

Approval by the state legislature is needed to enact an ordinance requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public buildings.  This could take a year or more, so for now, the best that can be done is to educate the public and business owners about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The task force plans to meet again Tuesday and have invited leaders from the State Fire Marshall’s office and hospital representatives.

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.

Carbon Monoxide:  the Silent Killer

Often called “the silent killer,” Carbon monoxide (CO) 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.  A sleeping or intoxicated person may not experience symptoms before they 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.  Young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of carbon monoxide and may show symptoms sooner than a healthy adult. Because of their smaller bodies, children process CO differently than adults and may be more severely affected by it.

Recent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cases

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens in hotels, rental units, and businesses every year.  Between 1989 and 2004, 68 incidents of CO poisoning occurring at hotels, motels, and resorts were identified, resulting in 772 accidentally poisoned: 711 guests, 41 employees or owners, and 20 rescue personnel. Of those poisoned, 27 died.

The following are some of the most recent cases of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • January 26, 2012:  A leak from a forklift Thursday led to 13 employees at Chippewa Bi Products in Wisconsin being sent to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning.  Propane forklifts were being used in the Chippewa Bi Products building where the employees got ill, and authorities believe one of the forklifts had a mechanical problem and released the toxic carbon monoxide fumes.  Chippewa Bi Products said that it has carbon monoxide detectors, and that one did go off at the time of the incident.
  • January 3, 2012:  A Target store in Keene, N.H., had to be evacuated Tuesday due to high levels of carbon monoxide, and 17 employees were taken to local hospitals.  The source of the carbon monoxide was a gas-powered cutting machine that was in the Target in the morning cutting out pieces of its concrete floor as part of a renovation, according to the Keene Sentinel. Fire authorities believe that the store wasn’t properly ventilated when that work was done, or when workers took out the concrete slabs with a tractor.
  • December 30, 2011:  The Hilton Garden Inn in Green Bay, Wisconsin had a carbon monoxide leak that led to about 16 people going to the hospital. There was no mention in the report of whether the hotel had carbon monoxide detectors as required by Wisconsin state law.  High levels of carbon monoxide were found in a swimming pool area, a workout room, a mechanical room, a stairway and several restrooms.
  • September 20, 2011:  In Morgantown, WV one person was killed and several others hospitalized after carbon monoxide poisoning occurred in the home they were renting.
  • July 25, 2011: Twelve people staying at a Norman, Oklahoma hotel were taken to the hospital after breathing toxic levels of carbon monoxide.  Firefighters arrived at the Sooner Legends Inn and Suites after a 3-year-old child became ill and was taken to the hospital. The firefighters detected carbon monoxide and evacuated the hotel.  The cause of the carbon monoxide leak was determined to be from a damaged, leaking ventilation pipe running from the boiler to the roof.

Business Owners Are Responsible to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Hotel owners and landlords have a heightened 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.  Unfortunately, West Virginia does not require all hotels and rental homes to have carbon monoxide detectors.  Further legislation is needed to ensure that employees, guests, patrons and renters are kept safe from carbon monoxide poisoning which often results in catastrophic injuries and deaths.

Update: 

On April 5, 2012, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed Senate Bill 597.  The bill, effective Sept. 1, requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in all hotels, motels, apartment buildings, boarding houses, dormitories, long-term care facilities, adult or child care facilities, assisted living facilities, along with one- and two-family dwellings intended to be rented or leased.  The family of the carbon monoxide victim who died in a Charleston, WV hotel earlier in 2012 was present at the signing and expressed gratitude that the state of West Virginia has taken measures to prevent other families from experiencing this same sorrow in the future.

If you or  loved one has been a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, please contact us the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC at http://www.robinettelaw.com

 

Carbon Monoxide Leak Kills Hotel Guest in South Charleston, WV; Injures at Least a Dozen More

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 – that is why one should choose the professional equippment only (learn specific details at Poolheaterworld.com).  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.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Are your children safe?

Approximately 24 children under the age of 14 die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, with an additional 3,500 emergency room reported injuries, according to the National SAFE KIDS campaign (www.safekids.org).

Young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of carbon monoxide (CO) and may show symptoms sooner than a healthy adult. Because of their smaller bodies, children process CO differently than adults and may be more severely affected by it.  In addition to death, carbon monoxide can cause severe learning disability, memory loss, and personality changes.

Carbon Monoxide, the Silent Killer

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.

To decrease the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, install CO detectors outside every bedroom.  Install the detectors at least 15 feet from a source of CO to eliminate nuisance alarms.  Hardwire detectors if possible, and check every six months.  Do not heat your home or camper with your stove top or use a camp stove, grill,  or generator inside your home or camper.  Do not leave a car or motorcycle running in your garage even if the garage door is open.  Install a CO detector in your boat cabin; CO can accumulate anywhere in or around a boat.  Have your fireplace, stove, and furnace checked regularly by a professional.

Sometimes carbon monoxide poisoning is caused in part by the negligence of a landlord, repair technician, or faulty piece of equipment.  Landlords and professional service technicians are held to the highest standards of accountability for the safety of those they serve.

West Virginia landlords are required to maintain a leased property in a condition that meets requirements of applicable health, fire, and safety housing codes. West Virginia mandates in W.Va. Code Section 29-3-16a that any residence built after 1998 be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors.  The federal government, through the International Residence Code (ICR) 315.2, further mandates carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in any one or two family home that either has a fuel-fired appliance or heating unit , or is attached to a building containing such appliance, if any work is planned for that home that requires a building permit.

If CO poisoning is detected, vacate the area immediately and seek emergency help.  Avoid re-entry until the fire department deems it safe.

For information about carbon monoxide poisoning and premises liability, go to http://www.robinettelaw.com/Catastrophic-Injuries-and-Wrongful-Death/