Carbon Monoxide Effecting Other Guests at Boone Best Western?

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Posted on 14th June 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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By Attorney Gordon Johnson

Call me at 800-992-9447

http://carbonmonoxide-poisoning.com/

In the wake of the carbon monoxide deaths at the Best Western in Boone, North Carolina, the concern should not be just for those who died, but for anyone who was in that hotel, not just on June 8, 2013, but on the day of the first two fatalities this year. See our blog of yesterday at http://carbonmonoxide-poisoning.com/blog/2013/06/branded-hotels-again-fail-to-monitor-for-carbon-monoxide-risks.html  discussing the June 8, 2013 death of the two deaths on April 16, 2013, all in room 225 of the Best Western.

The owner of the hotel today put out a statement, through its attorney stating “The health and safety of guests who stay at our hotel is our number one priority.”  See http://www.hcpress.com/news/lawyer-for-local-owner-of-best-western-in-boone-releases-statement-health-and-safety-of-guests-are-no-1-priority.html  If the health of those who have stayed at the Best Western is truly the concern, then the hotel should be contacting at a minimum, every single person who has stayed in Room 225 this year, or at least certainly since April 16, 2013.

What the statement did not address is just how many times that room has been rented over the last few months, nor how it is that both the owners of the property and the Best Western chain did nothing to diagnose and fix a problem that had already killed two people.

Carboxyhemoglobin Test Should Be Given to All Recent Guests

It is clear that not only the Best Western, but health officials have lost sight of the fact that carbon monoxide is not only potentially fatal, it can cause permanent brain damage and other organ damage, to those who survive.  At the press conference yesterday, the Boone health department officials noted that carbon monoxide levels were elevated in other places in the hotel.  If so, then every single guest who was in an area where CO was found, should have been sent to the hospital and had his or her blood tested for CO.  At a minimum a test to determine the carboxyhemoglobin in the blood.  Carboxyhemoglobin is the compound that occurs in the blood when carbon monoxide (CO) takes the place of oxygen, O2 in hemoglobin, in the red blood cells.

If in fact the cause of the CO poisoning was the pool heater, then anytime that pool heater was on since at least as early as the first deaths, then carbon monoxide was undoubtedly present, at least in Room 225.  But poison gases don’t come with a keycard. The CO likely went anywhere that air could flow in the hotel. While no other deaths were reported, the symptoms of CO poisoning are not always diagnosed immediately because they can be attributed to flu or other health problems.  Even heart attacks can be caused by CO poisoning, especially in those with compromised health.

Delayed Problems after Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Anything that has the potential to kill through asphyxiation, has the potential to cause permanent brain damage and severe other organ damage.  Those who survived may still be at risk of serious problems. What makes such concerns even more urgent with those who have been in the Boone Best Western is that carbon monoxide can continue to cause organ and tissue damage for other to 40 days after exposure.  A condition called Delayed Neurological Sequelae (DNS) is caused by the carboxyhemoglobin continuing to bond to the red blood cells for extended periods of time after the carbon monoxide poisoning.  See our treatment of DNS at http://carbonmonoxide-poisoning.com/carbon_monoxide_poisoning/carbon_monoxide_delayed_onset.html

The symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure in those who survive include:

Early Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

Headache, nausea and dizziness.  The more the exposure, the more severe the symptoms become.  Loss of consciousness which does not result in death may occur, as well as memory problems and confusion.  The problem with identifying loss of consciousness in a hotel, is that most of the guests would be expected to be asleep for much of their stay.

Heart Symptoms after Carbon Monoxide Exposure.

Potential heart and cardiovascular problems are varied.  It may begin with tachycardia – an increase in heart rate (rapid heart beat).  This is in response to insufficient oxygen (hypoxia.)  Hypotension (a drop in blood pressure) with possible syncope (fainting) can also occur. Dysrhythmia’s (an irregular heart beat) and other heart issues, including heart attacks, can also occur.

Kidney Failure and CO.

Carbon monoxide can also cause kidney failure.

Unborn Babies and Carbon Monoxide.

As with most toxins, it is much more dangerous to unborn babies.

For more on the symptoms of carbon monoxide damage, see http://codamage.com/carbon_monoxide_poisoning/carbon_monoxide_symptoms.html

The results of the autopsy of the first couple that died weren’t released until after this second fatal incident.  Now is the time for greater diligence, not just to prevent future problems, but to make sure that all those who have been exposed get treated.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Reno Hotel Evacuated After Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 13th May 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A Reno, Nev., hotel was evacuated Saturday after several guests got ill from carbon monoxide, according to KTVN-TV.

http://www.ktvn.com/story/22226084/elevated-carbon-monoxide-levels-prompt-evacuation-in-downtown-reno

The Reno Fire Department was called to the El Cortez Hotel after guests said they felt sick around 3:30 p.m., the TV station reported. The respondents detected high levels of carbon monoxide at the hotel, and evacuated it as well as the businesses on its first floor.

According to KTVN, the potentially lethal gas came from two malfunctioning water heaters. Although guests were allowed to return to the El Cortez, they didn’t have hot water overnight.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Missouri Mom Saves Family From Carbon Monoxide

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Posted on 13th May 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A Missouri mother did her family a good deed on Mother’s Day: She saved them from dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The incident happened in Florissant, Mo., when a mother woke up about 8 a.m. in her home on Stonehaven, according to Fox2Now. It’s unclear exactly how and why from the story, but the woman saw that her children and other occupants in the home were acting oddly.

http://fox2now.com/2013/05/12/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-sends-eight-to-the-hospital/

In a smart, quick-thinking move, she opened up the windows in the residence and began evacuating people from inside.

According to Fox2Now, the mother and seven other people, aged one-year-old to teenagers, were outside and still conscious. But they were also lethargic, and all eight were sent to area hospitals.

So where did the carbon monoxide come from? Authorities told Fox2Now that the family was running an attic fan and a furnace at the same time while the home’s windows were closed. That created “a down drafting” of the lethal gas, filling the house with carbon monoxide.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Leak At Pa. Hotel Hospitalizes Two

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Posted on 12th May 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Two guests were hospitalized Friday night after a carbon monoxide leak at a Lancaster, Pa., hotel, according to Fox 43.

http://fox43.com/2013/05/11/carbon-monoxide-leak-at-heritage-hotel-linked-to-malfunctioning-boiler/#axzz2T32dJCDh

The incident happened at the Heritage Hotel on Centerville Road. The hotel was evacuated after two guests got sick and had the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, Fox 43 said.

The two ill guests were brought to a local hospital for treatment, and then were released.

Firefighters who responded to the scene detected high carbon monoxide levels, which they found came from a malfunctioning boiler, on the second and third floors of the hotel, Fox 43 reported.

The hotel’s owner issued a statement, according to the TV station.

“The safety of our guests and our staff is our No. 1 priority,” Matt DeRose, president of Heritage Hotel Lancaster & Heritage Hospitality, said in a statement. “As you can imagine this news came as a shock. We have been working around the clock on this matter.”‘

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Army Sued For $124 Million In Clarksville Carbon Monoxide Deaths

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Posted on 2nd May 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The U.S. Army is being sued for $124 million by the families of five people who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a trailer at the Clarksville Speedway in Tennessee, according to The Tennessean.

 http://www.theleafchronicle.com/viewart/20130501/NEWS01/305010019/

The victims had rented their trailer from an Army RV rental business on Sept. 16, 2011. The next night, the group operated a generator outside of the trailer in order to run an air conditioner. Their bodies were discovered the next morning, The Tennessean reported.

The  lawsuit charges that Gear-to-Go, the Army business, was negligent by failing to put new batteries in the trailer’s carbon monoxide detector, according to the newspaper.

The five victims were members of Bikers Who Care, a charity that aids needy children. They are themselves survived by 13 kids. They were at the speedway to watch the 30th annual Leslie W. Watson Memorial Toy Run.

The Tennessean reported that the deceased were: Timothy Bryan Stone, 39; James Franklin Wall II, 38, and his girlfriend Allison Bagwell-Wyatt, 32; Jonathan Michael Over, 27, and his wife Kathryn Over, 27.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Getting The Word Out On CO Poisoning Via Gandee Death

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Posted on 4th April 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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My belief that MTV reality TV star Shain Gandee’s death may prove to be a teachable moment Wednesday got a boost, when The Huffington Post called to interview me about carbon monoxide fatalities.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/shain-gandee-death-mudding_n_3003390.html

The Huffington Post asked me about the demise of Gandee, who was featured on “Buckwild,” and two other men when they went out “mudding” in rural West Virginia last weekend.  As soon as I heard that the bodies of the three had been found in Gandee’s Ford Bronco truck, I blogged they they had to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

And I wrote a follow-up blog yesterday when authorities released the results of the autopsies of Gandee and the other two men: carbon monoxide poisoning. Gandee’s truck had sunk into the mud so deep that its muffler was totally covered, as well as its exhaust pipe.

http://carbonmonoxide-poisoning.com/blog/2013/04/autopsy-finds-shain-gandee-died-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning.html

That meant that his truck filled with lethal carbon monoxide, which killed him and his two passengers. The Huffington Post explained about the sport of “mudding,” or off-road driving, is increasingly popular. I don’t see its appeal, but for 21-year-olds like Gandee, it is fun.

I explained to The Huffington Post that it takes “minutes, not moments,” for carbon monoxide to do its killing, depriving the bloodstream of its needed oxygen.

The writer couldn’t understand why people who are in a mud-bound truck, starting to feel ill, would not open their vehicle windows or suspect they were being poisoned.

But as I explained, it is not as crazy as it sounds. In a situation like Gandee was in, stuck and probably cold, people don’t want to open their windows to let in the cold.

That’s why motorists stuck in snow sometimes are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning after their tailpipe gets blocked by snow. If you are stuck in a blizzard, you are not about to roll down your window.

In any event, The Huffington Post is a popular website, and I expect that many people will read the blog regarding the dangers of carbon monoxide and cars stuck in mud or snow. Perhaps some lives will be saved.

The headline on The Huffington Post story was perfect and said it all: “Shain Gandee Dead: On ‘Mudding,’ ‘Buckwild,’ And How Not To Die In Your Truck.”

 

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Autopsy Finds Shain Gandee Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 3rd April 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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An autopsy on Shain Gandee, part of the cast of the MTV reality show “Buckwild,” confirmed what I suspected: He died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

http://carbonmonoxide-poisoning.com/blog/2013/04/buckwild-star-gandees-death-sounds-like-co-poisoning.html

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday announced the cause of death of  Gandee, 21, his uncle David Gandee, 48, and friend Donald Robert Myers, 27.

“The manner of death is accidental and the cause was carbon monoxide poisoning for all three subjects,” the sheriff’s department said in a press release.

http://www.kanawhasheriff.us/2013/04/02/april-2-2013-update-on-deaths-of-shain-gandee-david-gandee-and-donald-myers/

The bodies of all three men were found in Gandee’s Ford Bronco pick-up truck in Sissonville, W. Va.

http://www.kanawhasheriff.us/2013/04/01/april-1-2013-update-2-to-missingfound-persons/

The three men were reported missing Sunday afternoon after they said they were going to go off-road driving. They were found by one of Shain’s friends, who was searching the trails and ridges in the area for him and the others.

“The vehicle sat unevenly, but upright, and was partially submerged in deep mud,” the sheriff’s department said. “Mud was covering the lower part of the passenger side door of the vehicle, but the driver’s side of the vehicle was above the mud.  The muffler of the vehicle was completely below the surface of the mud.”

As soon as I read about the circumstances of Shain’s death, the truck stuck in the mud, I knew he and the others were victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Anytime a car’s exhaust pipe gets blocked, the lethal gas will be released into the interior of a vehicle, potentially killing its occupants.

This winter, I blogged about several horrible accidents were auto exhaust pipes were blocked by snow. In one case, a father had put his two kids in his running car while he shoveled snow so they could keep warm. But snow had blocked the tailpipe, and the children died.

At best, Gandee’s death may make the public more aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and blocked exhaust pipes.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

‘Buckwild’ Star Gandee’s Death Sounds Like CO Poisoning

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Posted on 2nd April 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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When I heard that one of the stars of MTV’s reality show “Buckwild” had been found dead with two other men in their vehicle, I figured they were all victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.

And although as of late Monday authorities still hadn’t released a cause of death for the trio, I’m still betting it was from CO, not much of a leap when you know the details of how Shain Gandee, 21, was found.

The bodies of Shain, his uncle David Gandee, 48, and Donald Robert Myers, 27, were discovered in a Ford Bronco on a dirt road in Sissonville, W.Va., according to Fox News.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/04/01/buckwild-starshain-gandeeone-three-found-dead-report-says/

That  story quoted Kanawha County authorities who said that the Bronco’s muffler was submerged in mud, likely meaning that any exhaust pipe was below the surface, as well.

With the muffler and exhaust pipe plugged up with mud, the Bronco’s exhaust likely backed into the vehicle, filling it with lethal carbon monoxide.

I’ve written about several fatal accidents that were quite similar to this, when off-road “mudding” trips ended in tragedy.

If I am right about the cause of Gandee’s death, then the only good thing about it is that it provides a teachable moment. The youths who watched “Buckwild” and will read about his death will learn about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and how a blocked exhaust pipe could end in death.

The three victims, according to the Fox News story, were last seen alive Sunday afternoon at a bar. They said they were going to do some off-road driving.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Sends 15 Ala. Hotel Guests To Hospital

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Posted on 30th March 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A carbon monoxide leak at a Birmingham, Ala., hotel sent 15 guests to the hospital for treatment Friday, according to WIAT-TV.

http://www.cbs42.com/content/localnews/story/15-guests-at-Birmingham-hotel-treated-for-carbon/BDBQeW5_70mbg122MdCg5Q.cspx

The incident happened at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Country Club at about 6:30 a.m. Firefighters were called to the scene when one of the hotel guests was found unconscious and was revived after being administered oxygen, the TV station reported.

When the emergency responders arrived they found another 10 guests had symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, including headaches and feeling sick to their stomachs.

Along with those 11 guests, a family with four people that came down with flu-like symptoms were advised to seek medical treatment, which they did.

According to WIAT-TV, authorities suspect that the source of the carbon monoxide was a faulty heating unit that had bad ducts.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Sends 7 To Grand Rapids

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Posted on 24th March 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Seven Lansing, Mich., residents suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning Wednesday were flown to Grand Rapids to undergo treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/03/lansing_residents_flown_to_gra.html

Lansing firefighters were summoned to a house on Tenny Street early Wednesday morning after several residents said they felt sick. The responders found high levels of carbon monoxide, 300 parts per million compared with the normal reading of 10 parts per million, The Press reported.

Consumers Energy workers were called to the scene, and they discovered that the home’s furnace had a crack in its exhaust vent and was the source of the carbon monoxide leak. The house’s residents said that they had the furnace repaired the day before, Tuesday, according to The Press.

I’d ask for a refund for that work if I lived in that house.

Responders evacuated the residents and brought them to a local hospital.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Marine Carbon-Monoxide Death Sparks Suit

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Posted on 8th March 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The family of a young Marine who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his girlfriend’s apartment in Meridian, Idaho, has filed a lawsuit over his death, according to KTVB-TV.

http://www.ktvb.com/home/Lawsuit-filed-on-behalf-of-Marine-who-died-at-Meridian-apartment-complex-196166001.html

McQuen Forbush, 18, died in November of the lethal gas, which leaked from a water heater at the apartment complex.

Now his family is suing a number of defendants — including the owners of the Sagecrest apartment complex, First Rate Property Management, Parkcenter Plumbing and the water heater’s maker — for wrongful death, negligence and personal injury, KTVB reported.

The lawsuit alleges that Sagecrest knew there was a dangerous problem with its water heaters but didn’t address the issue, according to KTVB.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Illinois Family Overcome By Carbon Monoxide

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Posted on 26th February 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Thank God for all the boyfriends and dogs that have saved their loved ones from perishing from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the latest example,  a young Illinois man saved his girlfriend, her family and her dog from certain death in Antioch early Monday morning, according to the Lake County News-Sun.

http://newssun.suntimes.com/news/18467473-418/antioch-family-overcome-by-carbon-monoxide-poisoning.html

Earlier in the night the man had spoken to his 22-year-old girlfriend, who complained that she felt ill and was throwing up, the local newspaper said. He went to her family’s home on Bowles Road at roughly 6 a.m., and no one came to the door.

He peeked through a window and spotted his girlfriend’s dad lying on the floor, unconscious, the News-Sun reported. He called 911, and responders found not only the father overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning but also the girlfriend, her mother, her 13-year-old sister and the family’s dog.

All of them were brought outside and given oxygen. The humans were brought to Aurora Health Care Hospital and United Hospital System St. Catherine’s Medical Center campus in Kenosha, Wis., according to the News-Sun. The dog was sent to a veterinarian.

The 13-year-old girl later had to be taken by helicopter from St. Catherine’s to Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, to be treated in a hyperbaric chamber. Such chambers make carbon monoxide come out of a person’s blood.

The carbon monoxide leak was traced to a malfunctioning boiler, the News-Sun reported. The house didn’t have any carbon monoxide detectors, which are now required by law in new buildings.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Two Die Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Fresno

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Posted on 24th February 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Last week two people died of carbon monoxide in Fresno, Calif., part of a surge of such poisoning cases during the cool weather in the valley, according to KFSN-TV.

http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/health&id=8970131

Andre Benoit and Michal McClosky were carbon monoxide fatalities after they used a generator inside a warehouse, according to the TV station. Another woman was taken to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in critical condition after being exposed to the deadly fumes.

Fresno has seen an upswing in carbon monoxide poisonings, Dr. William Dominic, head of CRMC’s Leon S. Burn Center, told KFSN. That center has treated 13 people for carbon monoxide poisoning since November, a jump up from the typical four patients it usually treats each year, according to KFSN.

Dominic pointed out that the less affluent are sometimes more vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning because of their inadequate homes or apartments. They may have poor or no heat, and therefore turn to an open fire or a barbeque grill inside to keep warm.

Sources of heat like a grill emit carbon monoxide, which essentially prevents human tissue from getting oxygen. And in a residence without ventilation, that carbon monoxide can reach lethal levels.

in in


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Snow-Blocked Tailpipes Kill 2 With Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 12th February 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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After this weekend’s snow storm, the governor of Connecticut warned residents to be careful about unblocking vents on their houses and properly venting generators to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Too bad the governor of Massachusetts didn’t issue similar advisories.

Two people in that state,  including an 11-year-old boy, died of carbon monoxide when snow covered and blocked their cars’ exhaust pipes, according to AOL. And two other victims had to be hospitalized for CO poisoning.

http://weather.aol.com/2013/02/09/boston-boy-11-dies-of-carbon-monoxide-in-running-car/?ncid=webmail3

Imagine the horror of a father in Boston’s Dorchester section when his son died this weekend, died after the dad put the boy in a running car to warm him up. The father and son had been shoveling snow together, but the kid got cold. The dad turned on his car and had the lad get in it, AOL reported.

But apparently a snow plow then came down the street and packed snow in the car’s tailpipe, stopping the lethal carbon monoxide from escaping. It instead backed up into the car, poisoning the boy.

AOL said that just a few hours later, a man was discovered dead in a car with its engine running in Mattapan. Once again, the vehicle’s tailpipe was blocked by snow.

And in the third incident, two children aged 5 and 8, were sent to the hospital Saturday night when their father put them in a running car  as he was busy shoveling snow in East Boston, according to AOL.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Brain-Damaged Man Sues Hotel Over Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 10th February 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A former pilot, who suffered traumatic brain injury from carbon monoxide poisoning at an Embassy Suites hotel in California, has filed over the incident, according to Inside Bay Area’s website.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_22397707/carbon-monoxide-leak-at-burlingame-hotel-caused-brain

California has a carbon monoxide detector law that could have prevented the man’s injuries. But, after lobbying by the hotel industry,  that law won’t go into effect until 2016 for hotels.

Robert McNamara, 58, of Bakersfield and his wife are suing the hotel in Burlingame, Calif., for negligence. The suit was filed in San Mateo Superior Court.

McNamara was sent to the hospital after being discovered unconscious in his hotel room, and it was ultimately determined that he was suffering from severe carbon monoxide poisoning.

At the time of McNamara’s CO poisoning, under the law hotels didn’t have to install carbon monoxide detectors, according to Inside Bay Area. Such a law will not go into effect until 2016, as ridiculous as that is.

McNamara is in rehab and sustained severe brain injuries from the carbon monoxide. He was at the Embassy Suites hotel last November for his job with Occidental Petroleum Corp. His colleagues got worried when he didn’t appear for a meeting, and a hotel worker found him unconscious.

Initially, doctors weren’t sure if carbon monoxide was the cause of McNamara’s illness. But once they determined that it was, they informed authorities. Firefighters went to the hotel and found high levels of carbon monoxide throughout the building, with the levels in McNamara’s room were astronomical, according to Inside Bay Area.

Hundreds of guests were evacuated from the hotel, and firefighters determined that a malfunctioning boiler was the source of the carbon monoxide leak.

As Inside Bay Area explained, a law mandating carbon monoxide detectors in most multi-unit dwellings in California went into effect the start of this year. Although it initially was supposed to govern hotels and motels, the California Hotel & Lodging Association had that delayed by three years.

The reason, the group’s head told Inside Bay Area, was to avoid having alarms be installed a second time due to building code changes expected in 2014.

But Rep. Alan Lowenthal, the ex-state lawmaker and now a congressman who sponsored the law, blasted hotels for not having CO detectors.

If someone dies in a Cali hotel of carbon monoxide poisoning in the next three years, whose hands will their blood be on?


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Conn. Gov. Malloy Warns About Carbon Monoxide Dangers

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Posted on 10th February 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Kudos to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, whose Nutmeg State was slammed by the snow storm that hit the East Coast Friday.

Parts of Connecticut got as much as 40 inches of snow, and the governor had ordered a travel ban in the state.

During a press conference Saturday morning, Malloy also offered some safety tips about ways to avoid carbon monoxide for residents, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/19061/power-outages-could-hit-30-percent-customers

The governor advised residents to check and make sure that all vents on their homes were clear of snow, to stop potentially lethal carbon monoxide from backing up into their homes and killing them.

Malloy also urged residents using generators for emergency power to vent those machines outside of their homes, not in their garages, so that CO would not back into their residences.

That advice may have saved some lives this weekend.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Va. Hotel Evacuated Due To Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 8th February 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A word to the wise for hotel owners: Why don’t you just install carbon monoxide detectors, whether the law requires you to or not?

In the latest incident involving a carbon monoxide leak at a hotel, on Wednesday more than 70 people had to be evacuated from a Virginia Beach, Va., hotel because of this deadly, odorless gas, according to WVEC.com.

http://www.wvec.com/my-city/vabeach/Beach-hotel-evacuated-after-carbon-monoxide-leak-190224621.html

It all happened at the Homewood Suites on Cleveland Street, as guests and employees were sent to another local hotel when firefighters came to scene at 10 p.m.

They found high levels of carbon monoxide on a number of floors of the six-story hotel, and traced the leak to a natural gas heater on the building’s roof, WVEC.com reported. That heater warmed the hotel’s common areas.

Firefighters made sure that the gas was out of the hotel, a process that took about three hours, and the place was opened up again, according to WVEC.com.

The local fire chief said that the Homewood Suites doesn’t have carbon monoxide detectors because they were not mandated by law when it was built, WVEC.com reported. Under the law, just buildings built since 2009 must install carbon monoxide alarms.

Hotel owner, if you want to save yourself some legal fees defending yourself from a lawsuit, put in the CO detectors. More on that in my next blog.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Virginia Family Of Five Suffers Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 5th February 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Five members of a Virginia family suffered carbon monoxide poisoning when a damaged furnace leaked the gas into their home Sunday, according to WRIC.com. Two were hospitalized.

http://www.wric.com/story/20947530/family-sicked-by

The incident happened in Henrico, Va. The county fire department was called to the scene after a report of a fall in a residence on Croydon Road, WRIC.com reported,

The fire department arrived to discover a woman, 34, laying in a tub and complaining that she had been feeling sick for some time. She also reported that the other four occupants of the house had been feeling ill, with headaches and weakness, according to WRIC.com.

The fire personnel immediately suspected that was a carbon monoxide leak, and they tested and found that the CO level in the house was 190 parts per million, WRIC.com reported. That was way above the danger level of 10 parts per million.

The fire crew evacuated the home, also taking the women in the tub outside.

WRIC.com said that all five family members had carbon monoxide in their blood. Two, including an 11-year-old boy, were taken to a local hospital.

Fire authorities traced the carbon monoxide leak to a damaged furnace, according to WRIC.com.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Two Women Die Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Chicago

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Posted on 29th January 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Two women died of carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday after a leak of the lethal gas in their West Rogers Park apartment building in Chicago, according NBC. Authorities are blaming too few CO detectors for the tragedy.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/2-Dead-After-Apparent-Carbon-Monoxide-Leak–188648511.html#ixzz2JIm3zI6i

The victims were Rasheeda Akhter, 77, and Zanib Ahmed, 18.

Firefighters responded to West North Shore Avenue at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday to discover Akhter in cardiac arrest and Ahmed having seizures, NBC reported. The two were taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital.

The first responders checked out the building, because they suspected there was a carbon monoxide leak, but they could not find it, according to NBC.

Firefighters left but five hours later they were called back to the building. They found Khurshid Begum, whose family owns the apartment building, unresponsive at the site.

Responders detected high levels of carbon monoxide and contacted the gas company. As it turned out, residents of the building had been getting headaches – a symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning – when they were in the laundry room in the basement.

They would then open a window in the basement, and officials told NBC that this window being opened may have made it impossible for the building’s one CO detector to get an accurate reading.

Officials suspect the source of the gas was an old boiler, according to NBC.

Akhter and Ahmed died, but Begum survived. Five children were also hospitalized.

Chicago mandates that carbon monoxide detectors be placed no more than 15 feet away from each bedroom or sleeping area in a residence, according to NBC.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Another Canine Rescue Averts Carbon Monoxide Fatality

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Posted on 28th January 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Chalk up another canine rescue of its owner from carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, it almost seems like dogs have become living detectors of the potentially lethal, ordorless gas.

In the latest case, Boston terrier Kayla warned her owner Christy Williamson about the looming danger, according to LifeWithDogs.TV.

http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/01/dog-saves-owner-from-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-just-in-time/

Someone, apparently a neighbor, had left their car running in the garage right beneath Williamson’s condo in Germantown, Md. Williamson’s condo was inundated with the deadly gas when Kayla came into her room and woke her up,  LifeWithDogs.TV reported.

Williamson had already inhaled so much carbon monoxide that she had trouble walking, fell down several times and was nauseous. She called 911, but was so far gone that she had trouble answering simple question like what her address was, according to LifeWithDogs.TV.

EMTs arrived on the scene in the nick of time, as Williamson was told if it was five minutes later she would have been dead.

Needless to say, Williamson was calling her rescuer Kayla “my angel,” and said the dog likely saved the lives of other residents in her condo complex who would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, LifeWithDogs.TV reported.

Nice going, Kayla.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Arkansas Hotel Guests Hospitalized For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 23rd January 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A carbon monoxide leak from a pool heater resulted in five Hampton Inn guests in Arkansas being hospitalized Monday night, and the entire hotel being evacuated, according to the Siloam Springs Daily Leader.

http://hl.nwaonline.com/news/2013/jan/22/5-hospitalized-signs-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/?print

The incident happened at the inn on U.S. 421 in Siloam Springs, with the first report of carbon monoxide poisoning coming about 8:30 p.m. Monday from a 54-year-old man who felt sick, “dizzy” with a “rapid heart  beat,” the Daily Leader reported.

Another hotel occupant reported the same symptoms two hours later, and EMTs contacted the local gas company, which found the leak from the pool heater.

Five people were taken to Siloam Springs Regional Hospital for treatment. One of the victims was apparently unconscious in his room, and EMTs had to force their way in to get him out, according to the Daily Leader.

Just over 30 people were evacuated from the hotel, with 25 guests sent to a Best Western in West Siloam Springs, Okla., the Daily Leader reported. The Hampton Inn reopened at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

When CO Detector Goes Off, Don’t Stop To Check Its Batteries

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Posted on 23rd January 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Here’s a life-saving tip from firefighters in Boynton Beach, Fla.: If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, don’t try to change its batteries. Get the hell out of your house and call 911.

Margaret Diana, 78, was discovered by her next-door neighbors two weeks ago in her Boynton Beach home, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to WPBF.

http://www.wpbf.com/news/south-florida/Palm-Beach-County-News/Couple-finds-neighbor-dead-from-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/-/8815578/18216764/-/jhh0bbz/-/index.html#ixzz2IjUl4o7v

When firefighters checkedDiana’s house, there was a carbon monoxide detector, with batteries next to it, on the kitchen table, WPBF reported.

One of the firefighters in Palm Beach County explained that it is commonplace to arrive at a home where there’s been some kind of carbon monoxide leak, “a close call,” and find a carbon monoxide detector with it batteries next to it, just taken out.

The bottom line is once a detector is in an alarm mode, people should not be fooling with its batteries and checking them. At risk of being overcome by the lethal gas’s fumes, people should hoof it out of their residence and call 911.

When that alarm goes off, danger is literally in the air.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Upstate New York Man Dies From Carbon Monoxide, Wife Hospitalized

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Posted on 16th January 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A man in Dale, N.Y., was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday, while his wife remained in the hospital after being overcome by the lethal gas, which apparently came from a furnace, according to The Daily News.

http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_7c3e7c88-5f25-11e2-aed3-001a4bcf887a.html

The couple, Paul and Annette Kaczmarek, was found in their home around 6 a.m. when a relative came by to pick them up to go out for breakfast, said the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department.

The 72-year-old husband was found laying face-down on the floor of the kitchen, and a phone was near him, The Daily News reported. His wife, 74, was in a wheelchair near her husband.

Kaczmarek couldn’t be resuscitated by EMTs, and was pronounced dead at Wyoming County Community Hospital, according to The Daily News. Annette was transported to a hospital and remained there.

Authorities suspect that carbon monoxide flooded the house because of improper ventilation for a furnace that was three decades old. The Kaczmareks reportedly had a carbon monoxide detector, but its batteries were no good, The Daily News reported.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Two Queens Women Critical From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 8th January 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Two women in Queens, N.Y., were hospitalized Monday for carbon monoxide poisoning following a suspected boiler leak, according to WABC-TV.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=8944932

The two female victims, one in her 20s and one in her 50s, were overcome by the potentially lethal fumes at a house in Ozone Park shortly before 8 a.m., WABC reported. The victims were taken from the house and sent to Jamaica Medical Center, where they underwent treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

They were in critical condition, according to WABC.

Authorities suspect that the carbon monoxide came from a boiler, the TV station reported. There weren’t any carbon monoxide detectors in the home.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Three Die Of Apparent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Michigan

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Posted on 26th December 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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On Christmas Day a couple and an 11-year-old boy died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in Flint, Mich., according to the Associated Press.

http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/3-die-of-apparent-carbon-monoxide-poison/e13f74e41b874c809b1d994b7f8a38d5

LeTroy Edwards, 43, Selena Carranza, 37, and her son Jayson Cobbin, 11, were the victims of the accidental poisoning, AP reported. Edwards and Carranza were dead at the scene, while the boy died at a hospital.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, two people in Bruce Township also perished from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, according to AP.

The source of the lethal gas wasn’t identified in either incident.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

N.J. Introduces Bill Mandating Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Schools

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Posted on 23rd December 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A New Jersey state senator last week introduced legislation that would require schools in the Garden State to install carbon monoxide detectors, something only required in Connecticut and Maryland now.

Sen. Shirley K. Turner, author of a 1999 New Jersey law requiring homes to have carbon monoxide detectors installed,  is the sponsor of the new bill.

“Recently we have seen incidents across the country where students are evacuated from schools wearing oxygen masks and transported to hospitals because the school simply did not have the correct equipment to detect high levels of carbon monoxide,” Turner, D-Mercer and Hunterdon counties, said in a statement.

“This is an easy fix,” she said. ” By requiring schools to install carbon monoxide detectors, we can help to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for New Jersey students.”

http://www.njsendems.com/release.asp?rid=4756

The bill, S-2402, would require all New Jersey public and private schools to install carbon monoxide detection devices. The bill would allow for an exemption for any school that is determined to have no potential CO hazard, such as those without heat sources that could potentially emit carbon monoxide fumes.

The bill would require the Commissioner of Community Affairs to set regulations regarding installation and standards of the devices and would require that installation of the devices to be done by local fire officials or the state Division of Fire Safety.

The senator’s press release noted that earlier this month, nearly 50 students and teachers from Finch Elementary School in Atlanta were sent to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, maintenance workers forgot to flip a switch on the school’s boiler, causing it to work overtime and leak high levels of the lethal gas into the public areas and classrooms.

Turner said there have been other instances of schools having undetected high-levels of CO.

Within the past three months, students were also evacuated and hospitalized from schools in Chicago and Philadelphia due to carbon monoxide poisoning. According to a USA Today report, there have been at least 19 carbon-monoxide-related incidents at schools since 2007, causing at least 349 children and staff to be hospitalized.

“If a simple maintenance error can cause dozens of students in Georgia to end up in the hospital, what makes us think that our children are safe from this silent killer?” Turner said. “Just like fire and smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors are critical to ensuring our children’s safety by detecting this poisonous gas early and all of our schools should have them.”

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Texas Couple Found Dead Of Apparent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 19th December 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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An East Texas couple found dead in their home Tuesday were apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/12/18/4494525/east-texas-couple-found-dead-carbon.html

The victims, Cynthia Pettigrew, 50, and Johnathan Lydia, who was about to celebrate his 49th birthday, had a gasoline-powered generator running inside their house in Tyler, Texas, according to authorities.

Tyler police responded to the scene about 3 p.m. after a family member found the two bodies, according to the Star-Telegram. The relative had not heard from the pair “in days,” the paper reported.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Dog Saves Utah Mom, Daughter From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 18th December 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this kind of thing, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Once again, a vigilant pooch has saved its owner from carbon monoxide poisoning, avoiding tragedy.

In the most recent case, the hero was a 4-year-old chihuahua in West Jordan, Utah, according to the Deseret News. The dog, named Snow, had been taken home from the Humane Society of Utah by Tonya Ostrander in October on a trial basis.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865568997/4-year-old-Chihuahua-finds-a-home-after-saving-family.html

She was looking for a pet for her legally blind daughter, Chehala Moore, 9, the Deseret News reported, and was giving Snow a tryout.

On Dec. 10 at 2:30 a.m. Snow began barking and woke up Ostrander and her daughter. Both of them felt sick, with the same symptoms, and Ostrander wisely called an ambulance,  according to the Deseret News.

Physicians tested both mother and daughter and found that they had high levels of carbon monoxide in their bodies. After being given oxygen, after several hours the two were both released.

In an interview with the Deseret News, Ostrander credited Snow with saving her life and that of her daughter.

Needless to say, Snow made the grade. Ostrander formally adopted her from the Humane Society Dec. 13, after renaming her Snowee.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Makes 30 Ill At Boston Spa

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Posted on 10th December 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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One can’t help but marvel at the irony: 30 people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning Saturday at a place in Boston named the Exhale Spa.

The ill, who displayed symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, were treated at the scene at the spa in the Back Bay section of Boston, according to WHDH.com.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/12009270643270/30-treated-after-carbon-monoxide-leak-at-boston-spa/

Firefighters responded to the spa around 2 p.m. and checked out about 30 people who had been exposed to the lethal gas, which apparently had leaked from a gas-dryer or hot water heater, WHDH.com reported. Eight people were taken to New England Medical Center and Mass General for treatment.

High levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the spa’s basement.

Needless to say, Massachusetts doesn’t require businesses to have carbon monoxide detectors.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

New Washington Law Requires Carbon Monoxide Detectors In All Residences

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Posted on 6th December 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Washington state has a new law mandating the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in homes that goes into effect Jan. 1, according to the Associated Press and other media reports.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-12-05/wash-dot-carbon-monoxide-alarm-condition-added-jan-dot-1

The genesis of the new, broader law is pretty interesting. The Legislature amended the state building code when there was a bad windstorm in Puget Sound in December 2006, AP reported. That storm caused power outages, and ended up with hundreds of people being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

There were also eight deaths, those who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after using generators or barbecues in their homes to keep warm, according to AP.

The legislation is stricter than current Washington law, which had only required carbon monoxide detectors in newly constructed buildings starting in 2011. The new regulation is much broader, requiring the detectors in existing dwellings, such as apartments, hotels, condos dorms and “residential institutions,” AP reported.

In addition, as of the new year home owners must have carbon monoxide detectors in their houses if they sell them.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a bigger risk in the Northwest not only because that area has a lot of storms, but because many homes have been carefully insulated and sealed to conserve energy, according to AP. That means any fumes can’s escape a house.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

About 50 Atlanta Students, Staffers Suffer Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At School

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Posted on 4th December 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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In a panic-filled scene after several kids passed out, more than 40 elementary school students and six adults in Atlanta Monday morning were rushed to a local hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning, various press accounts reported.

According to the story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, children at the Finch Elementary School started to report that they were feeling sick, with headaches and nausea and dizziness at 8:30 a.m. The school principal evacuated the 500 students in the school, and some had already been overcome by the potentially lethal fumes and had to be taken out on stretchers, the Atlanta newspaper reported.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/students-overcome-by-carbon-monoxide-at-atlanta-sc/nTL93/

EMTs and firefighters arrived at the scene, with officials checking students and school workers in the parking lot to decide who needed to go to the hospital, the Constitution-Journal reported. As it turned out, 43 students and six school staff members were sent to local hospitals for treatment, according to NBC News.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/03/15643518-43-students-10-adults-suffer-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-at-atlanta-elementary-school?lite

All of them had been released by 5 p.m. Monday.

Authorities suspect that the school’s heating system was responsible for the carbon monoxide leak, the Atlanta newspaper said. The school doesn’t have carbon monoxide detectors, nor is it required to under the law.

Under safety guidelines people are not supposed to be exposed to more than 50 parts per million of carbon monoxide during an eight-hour span, but the levels at the school were as high as 1,700 parts per million, the Atlanta paper reported.

 

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

In Hurricane’s Wake, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cases Rise In N.Y.C.

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Posted on 30th November 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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With superstorm Sandy still wreaking havoc, the New York City Department of Health has alerted health care providers to be ready for an uptick of carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia cases, according to The New York Times.

The health department sent its missive to thousands of doctors, telling them that thousands of city residents — about 12,000 — still don’t have power or heat. The alert didn’t mince words. It said that people in homes without heat face “a significant risk of serious illness and death from multiple causes,” The Times reported.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/hypothermia-and-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-cases-soar-in-new-york-after-hurricane-sandy.html?_r=0

The health department’s statistics were that the volume of carbon monoxide poisoning cases “was more than 10 times as high as expected the week of the storm and six times as high the next week,” The Times wrote. These cases ended up as emergency room visits and calls to the city poison center.

In an interview with The Times, City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley warned residents without heat not to try to keep warm by using their ovens or portable gas heats, which can release deadly levels of carbon monoxide.

The newspaper reported that a hospital in an area devastated by the storm, Far Rockaway, had treated 13 people for carbon monoxide poisoning. That group included a family that was using lit charcoal indoors to try to heat up their apartment.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Two Wilmington Apt. Dwellers Sickened By Carbon Monoxide

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Posted on 29th November 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A carbon monoxide leak sickened two people in apartments in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, sending them to the hospital, according to Delaware Online.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012311260057&gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

Right before 10 a.m. an ambulance responded to the building on North Harrison Street, where EMTs initially found one person had been overcome by carbon monoxide, Delaware Online reported. Firefighters were called to the scene, and they did tests and found high levels of carbon monoxide in the building.

They searched the premises, and found another resident who was overcome by the lethal gas on the third floor of the building, according to Delaware Online.

Both victims were transported to Wilmington Hospital.

Firefighters also tested an adjacent building for carbon monoxide and found deadly levels of the gas there, too, Delaware Online reported.

Authorities suspect that a gas hot water heater was the cause of the high carbon monoxide levels.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Makes 49 Inmates Ill In Pennsylvania

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Posted on 24th November 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Carbon monoxide sickened 49 inmates at a jail in York, Pa., with five having to be hospitalized overnight, CNN reported.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/us/pennsylvania-jail-illnesses/index.html

Authorities believe that the heating and ventilation system in the county jail’s wing for women was the source of the deadly gas, according to CNN. Female inmates began to feel ill and developed symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning on Wednesday night.

Ill inmates were transported to several hospitals, and five of them were still hospitalized as of Thursday afternoon, CNN reported. The female inmates were transferred to different cells, and their unit was closed Wednesday night.

York is 90 miles from Philadelphia, according to AP.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Hotels Should Do The Right Thing And Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms

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Posted on 16th November 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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If the topic wasn’t so serious, the hospitality industry’s arguments about why there is no need for it to install carbon monoxide detectors in hotel rooms would be funny. But death isn’t a laughing matter.

The industry tried to justify its inaction in a well-researched story that USA Today just did on why hotel rooms should have alarms to detect the odorless, lethal gas. The newspaper tried to get a tally on how many guests have died, or had to be evacuated, due to carbon monoxide leaks at hotels. It did so by poring over media reports about such incidents, as well as talking to local fire chiefs.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2012/11/15/hotels-carbon-monoxide-alarms/1707863/

USA Today confirmed what I already knew, namely that very few of the nation’s hotels have installed carbon monoxide detectors in guest rooms. Very few states or towns have laws requiring them to do so, so they don’t yet — more on that later.

In its research USA Today found that from 2010 to Nov. 8 this year, there were 30 incidents of officials finding high levels of carbon monoxide in hotels. Eight people died in those incidents and 170 were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, the paper reported.

An academic, professor of medicine Lindell Weaver at the University of Utah, did his own survey, for the period of 1989 through 2004, of carbon monoxide and hotels. That study found that there had been 68 carbon monoxide incidents, 27 deaths and 772 people who had suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, according to USA Today.

The paper cited several examples of lethal carbon monoxide poisoning in hotels, including an incident 2 years ago where five teens died in a Hialeah, Fla., hotel after they left their car running in its garage.

A hotel industry spokesman told USA Today said that carbon monoxide poisonings at hotels are rare, that guests have a better chance of being struck by lightning, so there is no need to install them and there should be no laws mandating that they be installed. Putting CO alarms in rooms would also cause the hospitality industry a bundle.

Weaver makes the same argument that I would make: That even though hotel fires are infrequent, hotel rooms have smoke detectors.

But the story had an interesting revelation, that the International Building Codes (IBC) and the International Fire Codes (IFC) now mandate that existing and new hotels put carbon monoxide detectors in guest rooms or in common areas.

According to one expert quoted in the USA Today story, “all states adopt the IBC, 44 states adopt the IFC, and cities and counties ‘typically’ adopt these codes.”

But that expert said that it takes a couple of years for states and counties to adopt them these standards. I guess that’s when we will finally have carbon monoxide detectors in hotel rooms.

But until then, hotel guests may die because the hospitality industry won’t do the right thing.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Marine Dies Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Idaho

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Posted on 15th November 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Here’s another tragedy that could have been avoided: A young Marine died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his girlfriend’s apartment, which had a carbon monoxide detector with no batteries in it.

McQuen Forbush, 18, was on leave and staying in Meridian, Idaho. He was discovered dead Saturday, from what a coroner determined was carbon monoxide poisoning, according to NewsChannel 7. The deadly gas apparently leaked from a malfunctioning water heater that was located in the unit, the apartment of his girlfriend Bre Halowell.

http://www.nwcn.com/home/?fId=179392881&fPath=/news/local&fDomain=10227

The local fire chief told NewsChannel 7 that the apartment where Forbush died had a carbon monoxide alarm, but that its batteries had been taken out. Some people do that because they get annoyed when batteries get low and the alarm makes an annoying chirping sound, the chief said.

Forbush and Halowell both suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, but she survived.  Halowell was interviewed by NewsChannel 7, and said that she and Forbush felt ill and dizzy when they fell asleep Friday night. The next morning when she woke up, she found Forbush on the floor. She could not find a pulse on him, according to NewsChannel 7.

http://www.nwcn.com/home/179036981.html

Halowell was hospitalized and released.

I guess the question now is who took the batteries out of the carbon monoxide alarm?

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Champion Portable Generators Sold By Costco Recalled

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Posted on 4th November 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Portable generators are being put to use in New York and New Jersey by those who lost power because of Hurricane Sandy. But I hope no one had bought any of these.

On Friday the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall of about 8,600 portable generators made by Champion Power Equipment, based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. They pose a potential fire hazard, and were sold exclusively at Costco.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13026.html

The potential problem is fuel leaking from the generator’s carburetor, posing a fire hazard, according to the CPSC.

“There have been 11 reports of fuel leaking from the generators, including eight reports of the generators catching fire and two of property damage,” the CPSC said.

Big-box retailer Costco sold the generators at its stores nationwide from December last year through this July for $700.

The recall involves two models of Champion Power Equipment portable generators, with both having a black frame with black and yellow control panels, a bar handle and two wheels.

Model No. 41332 has an open frame. The words “Champion Power Equipment” are on the control panel and “8250 starting watts” and “6500 running watts” are on the side of the fuel tank.

Model No. 41532 has side panels that cover the long sides of the fuel tank. The words “Champion Power Equipment” are on the side panel above the control panel, and “9000 starting watts” and “7000 running watts” are on the control panel.

The model number and serial number are located on the side of the generator with the handle, on a tag on the crossbar above the yellow generator end cap.

Consumers should stop using the recalled generators, which were manufactured in China, immediately and contact Champion Power Equipment for a free repair kit to be installed by an authorized dealer. The consumer may also return the unit to Costco for a full refund.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Post-Hurricane Sandy, Five Carbon Monoxide Deaths In New Jersey

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Posted on 2nd November 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Hurricane Sandy is continuing to kill people on the East Coast.

No, I’m not talking about people hit by falling trees, or any one else drowning. I’m referring to carbon monoxide poisoning deaths. So far in New Jersey alone, at least five people have died by being poisoned by the lethal gas, which came from gas- or diesel-fueled generators, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/sandys_silent_killer_carbon_mo.html

Unfortunately, such tragedies often happen when people turn to generators in emergency situations, when they lose power and want to keep warm. With statewide power outages in New Jersey, and cold weather, residents and businesses have fired up generators while unaware of, or ignoring, the warnings about operating such devices.

Here’s the takeaway: Generators need to be operated outside, as far away from a residence, or any nearby residence, as possible. Officials in New Jersey are also warning residents not to use gas ovens, stoves or grills to heat their homes, according to The Ledger. They also pose a threat of causing carbon monoxide poisoning.

The carbon monoxide death count includes Rafael Reyes, a 55-year-old New Brunswick man, who The Ledger reported was found dead in his kitchen Thursday. A generator was on in his basement.

Gracie Dunston, a 59-year-old Trenton woman, was killed and seven members of her family fell ill from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to The Ledger. They had a generator and a propane heater on their first floor.

A man in Edison who had a generator on in his garage died this week. And finally, two 19-year-old Newark women, Mudiwa Benson and Kenya Barber, were killed Thursday by carbon monoxide from a generator that was operating close to their apartment window, The Ledger reported.

Steven Marcus, the director of New Jersey’s poison control center, told The Ledger that his office has been deluged with calls regarding carbon monoxide poisoning.

And there will likely be more deaths due to the treacherous gas, because many residents in the Tri-State area are still without power.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Illinois Man, Son Apparently Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 27th October 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A man and his 4-year-old son were found dead in their home in Yorkville, Ill., apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Beacon News.

http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/news/15966912-418/coroner-carbon-monoxide-factor-in-boy-fathers-death.html

On Friday the Kendall County Coroner said that an autopsy determined that Joseph Schmitt, 35, and his son Wyland had both breathed “a significant” amount of carbon monoxide, the Beacon News reported. Although police aren’t labeling it as such yet, it may be a murder-suicide, according to the newspaper.

The bodies were found in Schmitt’s garage, where two lawn chairs had been placed near a car. The dead boy was sitting in one chair in his pajamas, while his dad was on the ground. Schmitt’s car was also in the garage, but was not running when police responded to the scene, according to the Beacon News.

Schmitt was separated from his wife Kyle Weber, who had filed for divorce. They had a court date the end of next month.

 

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Pennsylvania Woman’s Death Could Spur Passage Of CO Alarm Law

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Posted on 21st October 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Well, let’s hope the death of Virginia Brecheisen, an 82-year-old woman from East Stroudsberg, Pa., will guarantee passage of a law requiring carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in many homes.

That was sentiment expressed by a writer for the Pocono Record in the wake of Brecheisen’s death last Thursday at her home on Kistler Street. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning on an upper level of her home after leaving her car running in her ground-level garage.

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121020/NEWS/210200330

Pennsylvania State Reps. Mike Carroll and Mario Scavello are co-sponsoring a bill that they expect to pass next year. It mandates that all newly constructed and newly sold homes have carbon monoxide detectors, according to the Pocono Record.

The law would require residential buildings with “a fossil fuel-burning heater or appliance, fireplace or attached garage to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed whenever the building is sold,” according to the Pocono Times.

And multi-family rental units with fossil fuel-burning heating or an attached garage would also have to install carbon monoxide detectors within 12 months of the law passing, the Pocono Times reported.

One of the hitches of the bill is that it doesn’t mandate that current homeowners install carbon monoxide alarms unless they sell their homes.

Those covered under the bill who don’t install or maintain a carbon monoxide alarm can be fined $50, according to the Pocono Record. Anyone who tampers with or takes out the batteries of a carbon monoxide detector in a residential building would be subject to a $500 fine, with a second offense punishable by a $3,000 fine.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Sears In Jersey City Mall Evacuated Due To Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 17th October 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The Sears in a mall in Jersey City, N.J., Tuesday was evacuated after high levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the store, according to The Jersey Journal.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2012/10/sears_at_newport_centre_mall_i.html

In a rather weird happenstance, the Jersey City Fire Department had just entered the store at the Newport Centre mall to conduct a routine fire inspection when the inspector’s portable carbon monoxide alarm went off, The Journal reported.

The reading was 55 parts per million, far above the level that’s considered dangerous, which is 35 parts per million and higher.

The fire inspector reported the situation and PSE&G was called to the scene to try to find the source of the lethal gas, according to The Journal. The carbon monoxide apparently came through the store’s HVAC system, but PSE&G hadn’t found the source.

No one was injured or hospitalized as a result of the gas, The Journal reported.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Eau Claire Student Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Autopsy Confirms

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Posted on 13th October 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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An autopsy has determined that a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student died of carbon monoxide poisoning following a fire his apartment in that Wisconsin city, according to the Pioneer Press.

http://www.twincities.com/wisconsin/ci_21741980/eau-claire-fire-stillwater-township-resident-died-carbon

Ross Livermore, 21, of Stillwater Township, was one of two students who were killed as the result of a fire last Monday morning in their apartment. That blaze is under investigation.

Another Stillwater-area youth, 21-year-old Jacob Clarkson, sustained critical burns in the fire and succumbed to them last Tuesday at Hennepen County Medical Center, which is in Minneapolis, according to the Pioneer Press.

Livermore and Clarkson and their two other roommates, Garret Isakson and Casey Malan, also both 21, all graduated from Stillwater Area High School, the Pioneer Press reported.

Isakson and Malan escaped from the four-bedroom apartment the four youths all shared, and were treated at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and released, according the the newspaper.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

One Dead, Another Critical, From Carbon Monoxide In Colorado

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Posted on 9th October 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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One man died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and a second was in critical condition, Sunday after an apparent leak of the deadly gas at an apartment complex in Colorado Springs, according to The Gazette.

http://www.gazette.com/articles/monoxide-145635-one-critical.html

The incident happened at the Peak Vista Apartments on Potter Drive, where local firefighters responding to a 911 call found two unconscious men, The Gazette reported. The rescuers were unable to revive one of the victims, who was declared dead at the scene. The second victim was brought to a local hospital and put in a hyperbaric chamber, according to The Gazette.

Firefighters came to the building, which has 12 apartments, after its carbon monoxide alarms were set off, The Gazette reported. The emergency workers found high levels of carbon monoxide in the building, but the source of the gas wasn’t known.

Colorado Springs Utilities and the firm that maintains the apartment’s furnace were both called to the scene to try to find the source of the deadly gas, according to The Gazette.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Eau Claire Woman In Fire Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 5th October 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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An autopsy has determined that a Eau Claire, Wis., woman found in her home after a fire died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Leader-Telegram.

http://www.leadertelegram.com/news/front_page/article_910ca61c-0ddb-11e2-aab9-001a4bcf887a.html

Cheryl Lechner, 47, was discovered in the basement of her house at East Hamilton Avenue when firefighters responded to the scene about 1:30 p.m. Monday. She couldn’t be resuscitated , the Leader-Telegram reported.

Authorities are still investigating Lechner’s death, with members of the local police department, the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at the scene, according to the Leader-Telegram.

Apparently, police have ruled out a faulty furnace or water heater as the source of the lethal carbon monoxide.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Cat Alerts Ohio Couple Of Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 26th September 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Tiger is a life saver.

Rod and Michelle Ramsey are crediting their pet cat Tiger with alerting them to the fact that their home was filling up with lethal carbon monoxide, according to The Mansfield News Journal. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.

http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20120925/NEWS01/209250304/Cat-saves-couple-from-carbon-monoxide?odyssey=mod|newswell|text||s

The Ramseys live on a farm in Williamsport, Ohio, and last week they both were getting headaches. Both wanted to just go to sleep, until Tiger intervened.

The feline started making a lot of noise, and was demanding to be let outside, according to the local newspaper. Around this time, Michelle called her vet about Babes, one of the 19 cats the couple owns.

The veterinary assistant, in a brilliant move, realized what was happening to  the Ramseys when Michele described their symptoms, The News Journal reported. The assistant asked if they had turned their furnace on, and in fact they had, just the day before.

The assistant, figuring out that there a gas leak from the furnace, told the Ramseys to leave their house. They called the local fire department, who came to the scene. The Ramseys were whisked away by helicopter to the Ohio State University Medical Center, where they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and released.

Nice going, Tiger.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Trader Joe’s Workers Sent To Hospital After Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 25th September 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A carbon monoxide leak sent 18 workers at a Trader Joe’s warehouse in Pennsylvania to the hospital Sunday morning, for evaluation, according to the The Morning Call of Lehigh Valley.

http://articles.mcall.com/2012-09-23/news/mc-east-allen-trader-joes-emergency-20120923-15_1_carbon-monoxide-warehouse-workers-exposure

The incident took place in rural East Allen Township, in a warehouse where responders discovered dangerous levels of  carbon monoxide in an area where forklifts were being charged, the newspaper reported. The level was 55 parts per million in some areas of the 800,000-square-foot facility, versus a “normal” level of zero, the paper said.

Firefighters came to the warehouse at 6835 Silver Crest Road when a fire alarm went off there at 7 a.m, according to The Morning Call. At that time, the responders’ meters detected high levels of carbon monoxide and they quickly evacuated the building.

The suspected forklifts were taken out of the warehouse and placed outside, and the building was ventilated, The Morning Call reported.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was contacted by local authorities, and the agency had investigators at the scene.

Trader Joe’s employees were permitted back in the warehouse around noon.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide From Running Car Prompts Evacuation Of Phoenix Condos

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Posted on 18th September 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Nearly 20 people were evacuated from a Phoenix apartment building Saturday night when carbon monoxide from a car left running in a garage infiltrated the complex, according to MyFoxPhoenix.com.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/19557459/running-car-fills-phx-condos-with-carbon-monoxide

Four of the 18 people evacuated from the Los Colinas condos near 27th Street and Carefree Highway were sent to the hospital. Another three residents were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at the scene, reported MyFoxPhoenix.com.

Authorities believe that a car was left running by a woman, 73, in the complex’s garage for about five hours, and the lethal gas seeped into the apartments. That elderly woman got home at 5 p.m., and her husband found her unconscious in their unit at 10 p.m., MyFoxPhoenix.com reported.

Apparently, the complex didn’t have carbon monoxide detectors.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Oregon Family Suffers Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Wood Stove

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Posted on 15th September 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A family of six in Oregon suffered carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday when their vented wood stove spewed out the deadly gas, according to OregonLive.com.

http://www.oregonlive.com/milwaukie/index.ssf/2012/09/milwaukie-area_family_survived.html

The home on Southeast Stanley Place in Milwaukie had an improperly vented stove, which caused the problem. The family had started a fire in the stove for the first time this year at about 6 a.m. because they were cold.

Unfortunately, the stove had a vent pipe that was too small “causing incomplete combustion in the stove’s firebox and  forcing carbon monoxide into the room,” according to OregonLive.com. The home then filled up with the gas.

The mother of the family developed a bad headache and became nauseous, and she heard an alarm in the house, the website said. She assumed it was a smoke alarm. but when it sounded a second time she realized it was a CO detector.

Firefighters came to the scene around 9 a.m., giving two children and two adults oxygen, according to OregonLive.com. The carbon monoxide level in the home was 100 parts per million, several times above safe levels.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Nine Siblings Treated For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In RV

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Posted on 5th September 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Over Labor Day weekend nine siblings were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in Arkansas after a gasoline generator in their RV leaked the lethal gas, according to the Carroll County News.

http://www.carrollconews.com/story/1890342.html

The family with the nine children was driving near Osage, Ark., when the incident occurred on Monday night. The parents called for help after the children said they were getting headaches and feeling drowsy, Carroll County News reported.

EMTs went to the family on Highway 412 in Osage, and eight of the group were immediately taken to Mercy Hospital in Berryville. The ninth child was taken by airlift to Springfield, Ark., for treatment.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

At Least 37 Killed By Carbon Monoxide In Chinese Mine Explosion

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Posted on 2nd September 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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At least 37 miners were killed in China’s worst mine accident in recent years, with the workers felled by carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Associated Press.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-31/death-toll-rises-to-37-in-china-mine-blast

The explosion at the coal mine in Xiaojiawan, in the province of Sichuan, on Wednesday is the worse since November 2009, when 108 workers were killed in a mine explosion in China.

This week there were 154 workers in the mine when the explosion took place, with 107 being brought up to safety. But of those, 50 had carbon monoxide poisoning and seven were critical, AP reported.

The rescue operation was being hampered because of the high level of carbon monoxide down in the mine, and the high temperatures down there, according to AP.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Maryland Hotel Evacuated After Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 28th August 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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About 50 people were evacuated from a Holiday Inn Express in Maryland early Monday morning because of an apparent carbon monoxide leak, according to Patch.com.

http://elkridge.patch.com/articles/carbon-monoxide-levels-spike-at-elkridge-hotel

The hotel, located on Marshalee Drive in Elkridge, had high levels of carbon monoxide, according to responders from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

Guests were evacuated from the hotel’s second and third floors at about 4 a.m.,Patch.com reported. No one had carbon monoxide poisoning.

Authorities suspect that the carbon monoxide leak came from a heater, Patch.com said.

In a far more dramatic incident, in June the Holiday Inn was evacuated when authorities discovered that guests has allegedly set up a methamphetamine lab in one of the hotel rooms, according to Patch.com.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Ohio Family Files Suit Over Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 14th August 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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An northern Ohio family that suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning is suing the company that it alleges improperly put in its new furnace, according to The News Herald.

http://news-herald.com/articles/2012/08/13/news/doc502943e54e1c6914516191.txt?viewmode=fullstory

The lawsuit was filed by Denise and Patrick Eustace of Mentor, Ohio, against Anderson Heating-Cooling Inc., which is also based in Mentor. The action was filed Friday in Lake County Common Pleas Court, The News Herald reported.

As a result of the carbon monoxide leak from the new furnace, the suit charges that Denise Eustace began having headaches, memory loss, facial twitching and loss of balance, the newspaper said. She now has permanent vision deterioration as a result of the carbon monoxide poisoning, the lawsuit alleges, according to The News Herald.

In February last year, the Eustace family bought a Lennox energy-efficient furnace from Anderson. But the suit charges that the furnace was improperly installed, and that carbon monoxide leaked from it, according to The News Herald.

The day after Anderson installed the furnace, it began leaking water. Anderson employees came to repair it, but didn’t realize that it was leaking carbon monoxide, the suit alleges.

Patrick Eustace, and he and Denise’s daughter, also suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are asking for $150,000 in damages, The News Herald reported.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Anti-Angina Drug May Offset Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 12th August 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A recent study has found that an anti-angina drug may prevent the fatal heart arrhythmia that is caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, according to MedicalXpress.com.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-anti-angina-drug-effects-carbon-monoxide.html

The research was done by an international team of scientists, headed by the University of Leeds in England. The story pointed out that many patients who’ve been exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide develop irregular or abnormally paced heartbeats. That arrhythmia can lead to cardiac arrests — and death.

And that takes us to ranolazine, whose trade name is Ranexa. It won approval in the United States in 2006 to treat angina, and it does so “by targeting a sodium channel in the hearts — the same channel that can also induce irregular heartbeats,” according to MedicalXpress.com.

Researchers found that carbon monoxide poisoning “caused a key membrane channel carrying sodium ions through the heart to stay open for longer,” MedicalXpress.com said, which resulted in calcium building up, disrupting the heart’s rhythm.

The part of the research team in France tested ranozaline on rats who were exposed to carbon monoxide, and discovered that the drug reduced arrhythmia in the rodents.

Ranolazine needs to be tested on humans now, and there is already some speculation that it may be able to help workers who are exposed to carbon monoxide on a regular basis, such as firefighters, according to MedicalXpress.com.

One of the researchers said that in this case, an old drug may be able to do a new trick.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Gas Can Makers Can Avoid Lawsuits By Installing Flame Arresters

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Posted on 11th August 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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To hear Blitz USA Inc. tell it, it is the victim — not the people, and children, who were seriously burned when the company’s gasoline cans exploded in flames.

After all, what’s the big deal when a 3-year-old boy is burned over 47 percent of his body, one of 75 cases of victims being killed or injured in fires and explosions caused by gasoline containers?

Blitz, a Miami, Okla.-based plastic fuel-can molder is closing down its operations after failing to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to Plastic News, a trade paper. Blitz ran into financial problems when it faced a flood of lawsuits from plaintiffs who alleged they were injured in fires triggered by the company’s plastic gas cans.

http://plasticsnews.com/headlines2.html?id=25695&q=Blitz+USA

The manufacturer already has anted up $30 million to litigate product liability suits, and owes $3.5 million in legal fees, Plastic News reported. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which also sold Blitz’s gasoline containers, is also being sued.

Blitz has blamed consumers for misusing its cans, by doing things like using gasoline to start a fire. When the company doesn’t say is that if it had installed a relatively inexpensive part, called a flame arrester, on its cans, it probably wouldn’t be being sued.

According to the newsletter LetAmericaKnow.com, flame arresters, which cost about $1 to put on a gasoline can, have been around for 200 years.  The device, often a spring-loaded cap, stops gas fumes from igniting and flashing back into the container, turning it into an exploding bomb.

http://letamericaknow.com/view_newsletter_ysk.php?memberid=21008&orderid=39&newsletterid=138&issueid=1208

http://letamericaknow.com/view_feature_ysk.php?memberid=28&orderid=39&issueid=1208#

Horrendous accidents have happened for want of these flame arresters, according to LetAmericaKnow.com. Landon Beadore, 3, accidentally knocked over a gas can in his garage. Gas fumes traveled on the floor and were ignited by a water heater’s pilot light. The fire “flashed  back” to the gas can, and it exploded. Landon suffered burns over 47 percent of his body.

In another case cited by LetAmericaKnow.com. Ron Jacoby was carrying a gas can when static electricity from his body ignited the container.

Companies such as Blitz should have been installing flame arresters on their gas cans voluntarily. But it is still a disgrace that federal regulators don’t require flame arresters on gas cans, or that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has not issued a warning to the public.

By the way, the Occupational Safety and Health Care Administration requires that flame arresters be installed on workplace gas cans.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Bird’s Nest Blamed For Wisconsin Carbon Monoxide Incident

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Posted on 29th July 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A bird’s nest was almost lethal in a town in Wisconsin late last Thursday night.

Eight people in Dodgeville, Wis., were taken to a hospital after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Associated Press.

http://gazettextra.com/weblogs/latest-news/2012/jul/27/8-taken-hospital-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/

Police were called to the scene after someone was reportedly suffering a seizure, AP said. Authorities discovered that residents of the home, including five children, were showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Eight people were transported to Upland Hills Hospital, included the police officer who first arrived at the home, according to AP.

And here’s the kicker: A bird’s nest apparently was blocking an outside air intake, causing carbon monoxide levelt to rise in the house.

e

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Wife Dies From Carbon Monoxide Husband Used To Commit Suicide

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Posted on 15th July 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Here’s a horrendous double-tragedy for you.

A Pennsylvania woman a week ago found her husband’s body after he committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. The poor wife was then herself killed when she was overcome by the fumes of the lethal, odorless gas, according to the Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice.

http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/beaver-twp-woman-finds-husband-dead-dies-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/242213648313485686b5784a637aed11

James Schlack, 44, and his wife Margaret Schlack, 38, of Beaver Township were the victims last Saturday. Columbia County Coroner Dr. Lori Mastellar determined that James committed suicide, and Margaret died accidentally, the Citizens’ Voice reported.

The newspaper said that it wasn’t known what the source of the carbon monoxide was.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Did Navien Water Heater Cause Zion Carbon Monoxide Incident?

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Posted on 15th July 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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In this case, birds turned out to be man’s best friend.

A family in Zion, Ill., cheated death early Friday morning, around 3:30 a.m., when their pet birds began making noise and trying to escape from their cages, according to Lake County News-Sun.

A member of the family that worked a night shift came home to hear and see birds, who had detected carbon monoxide that was apparently leaking from a malfunctioning tankless hot water heater.

http://newssun.suntimes.com/news/13759416-418/birds-alert-family-to-carbon-monoxide.html

The person who had come home from his late shift, finding other residents of the house already feeling sick, called the Zion Fire & Rescue Department, which detected 345 parts per million (ppm) in the house, the local paper reported. Levels above 35 ppm are considered dangerous.

Six people were taken to Vista Medical Center in Waukegan, Ill., were they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Authorities believe the source of the carbon monoxide was a tankless hot water heater, but the story didn’t say what brand heater it was.

Late last year, there was a massive recall of tankless hot water heaters made by Navien America Inc., because it was believed that the devices posed a risk of leaking carbon monoxide. I blogged about it.

http://carbonmonoxide-poisoning.com/blog/2011/12/will-consumers-find-out-about-the-navien-heater-recall-due-to-carbon-monoxide-risk.html

The Navien water heaters posed a hazard because “an unstable connection can cause the water heater’s vent collar to separate or detach if pressure is applied,” according to a press release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS).  ”A detached vent collar poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to the consumer,” the CPCS said.

I’m curious to know if this Zion family had a Navien water heater.

The story by the Lake County News-Sun also noted that Friday’s incident is the second local case of carbon monoxide poisoning. On July 7 five family members in Waukegan were overcome by carbon monoxide that came from a gas-powered generator they were using inside their home to operate an air conditioner.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Elderly Florida Woman, Dog Killed By Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 8th July 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Could this story be any sadder?

An elderly woman and her dog were both found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in her home Thursday in Viera, Fla., according to Florida Today. The woman’s body was in chair, with her dog dead in her lap.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120706/NEWS01/120706036/Officials-Viera-woman-dog-dead-carbon-monoxide-poisoning

Apparently, Ann Caravan, 85, didn’t have a carbon monoxide detector. She left her car running in her garage, and the fatal gas infiltrated her home, according to Florida Today.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Seven Suffer Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Michigan

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Posted on 8th July 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Seven people in West Bloomfield, Mich., were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator in their home’s garage, according to the Daily Tribune.

http://www.dailytribune.com/article/20120706/NEWS01/120709720/seven-hospitalized-with-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-%28with-video%29

The incident happened last Tuesday afternoon, when responders were called to a home on Norma Lee Drive, which is near Maple and Drake roads. When firefighters tested inside the house for carbon monoxide levels, they had a high reading, of 500 parts per million, the Daily Tribune reported.

The family at the residence had put its generator on at 4:30 a.m. after storms damaged power lines, cutting off electricity to the house and its neighborhood in West Bloomfield. In fact, power  was expected to be off in West Bloomfield until this weekend.

Seven people in the home felt ill, and were transported to local hospitals for treatment, according to the Daily Tribune.

Fire officials used to incident as an opportunity to warn area residents not to keep generators running in their garages.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Maryland Fire Officials Warn Of Carbon-Monoxide Dangers Of Generators

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Posted on 4th July 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Last summer, a man in Ellicott City, Md., died of carbon monoxide poisoning after using a generator when power was knocked out by Hurricane Irene. Local officials are trying to prevent a repeat of that tragedy in the wake of powerful storms Friday that cut off local electricity.

Members of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services have been canvassing neighborhoods to check on people and offer them safety tips about using generators, according to the Baltimore Sun.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/news/community/ph-ho-cf-glances-carbon-monoxide-0712-20120703,0,886851.story

On Monday an Ellicott City resident reported that he was suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, the Sun reported. Firefighters found that the man had put a generator outside the rear of his house, and high levels of carbon monoxide were found in his home.

Then on Monday, the canvassing discovered an Ellicott City home that had its back door open, with a generator running outside. High levels of carbon monoxide were found in that dwelling, according to the Sun.

Fire officials are using the power blackout as a teachable moment. They are telling residents and business owners to install carbon monoxide detectors, first of all. Then fire officials are warning residents that generators have to be placed outside in a ventilated area, far away from doors, vents and windows, and that they shouldn’t be placed in attached garages, even if the door is left open, according to the Sun.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Bill Would Mandate Standards For Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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Posted on 1st July 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Two U.S. Senators last week introduced legislation that would give the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) the power to impose stricter standards for carbon monoxide detectors, according to the Echo Press of Alexandria, Minn.

http://www.echopress.com/event/article/id/95738/group/homepage/

Amy Klobucher, D-Minn., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, are pushing for passage of the Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act. The legislation is named after two young brothers from Kimball, Minn., who died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Snowe told the Echo Press that the legislation is needed nationally and in Maine in particular, where residents sometimes use indoor heaters — which can emit carbon monoxide — to warm up their homes in the cold northern winters.  That’s why consumers in Maine and other states need to be sure that their carbon monoxide alarms are working and safeguarding them, according to Snowe.

Obviously, the same can be said for Minnesota, which also has extraordinarily cold winters.

Essentially, the legislation would give the CPSC teeth in terms of making sure that carbon monoxide detectors are up to snuff and working. According to the Echo Press, the CPSC now only has voluntary standards for such detectors, which are set by Underwriters Laboratories.

Under the bill, these safety standards would become mandatory for all carbon monoxide detectors sold in the United States, the Echo Press reported. The legislation also lets the CPSC allocate resources to promote carbon monoxide detectors and educate the public about them.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Nine Hospitalized In Chicago For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 26th June 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Last week in Chicago nine family members were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning after the water heater in their Far South Side home apparently leaked the potentially fatal gas, according to The Chicago Tribune.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-multiple-victims-sickened-by-carbon-monoxide-in-south-deering-20120616,0,2803753.story

On June 16 five ambulances responded to the single-family house on South Hoxie Avenue in the South Deering section of the Windy City. Dangerous carbon monoxide levels were measured at the home, according to The Tribune, at 500 parts per million.

Ten people, part of the same family, complained of headaches and were treated at the scene. Of those, nine were taken to hospitals — three each to Advocate Trinity Hospital, Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center, and South Shore Hospital, The Tribune reported.

Authorities suspect that a malfunctioning hot water heater released the deadly carbon monoxide.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Married Couple Die Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Virginia

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Posted on 24th June 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A married couple was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning last Thursday in their apartment in a public housing complex in Portsmouth, Va., according to The Pilot.

http://hamptonroads.com/2012/06/couple-dead-portsmouth-carbon-monoxide-may-be-cause

The deaths of Leroy and Inez Stith, both 65, was perplexing because each unit in their Swanson Homes apartment complex has carbon monoxide detectors, the Portsmouth Redevelopment & Housing Authority told The Pilot. These detectors plug in, but also have a battery back-up. Why didn’t they work for the Stiths?

The husband and wife had apparently been getting high levels of carbon monoxide for at least a month, since they had been telling neighbors for around a month that they felt sick. In fact, The Pilot reported, the wife had been to see a doctors two days before her death.

Authorities evacuated the building that the victims lived in, and the gas company shut off the gas to it.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Two Boaters Dead Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In South Dakota

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Posted on 14th June 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A man and woman found dead in a boat Tuesday on the Missouri River were apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to published reports.

The unidentified man, 61, and woman, 63, were in a large boat located at Dock 44 Marina Bay in South Dakota, according to The Daily Republic.

http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/event/article/id/66499/group/homepage/

The boat was in a bay close to the Snake Creek Recreation Area, a little more than a dozen miles from Platte.

The case is under investigation, but carbon monoxide poisoning is believed to be the cause of death.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

UCA To Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors After Incident

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Posted on 9th June 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) will be installing carbon monoxide detectors in one of its buildings next week after an incident where nearly a dozen people, including five students,  became ill.

http://thecabin.net/news/2012-06-08/uca-install-carbon-monoxide-detectors-test-burdick-hall-again#.T9PFMZixc-0

Last Thursday Burdick Hall on the school’s campus in Conway, Ark., was evacuated after some students became ill. They complained of nausea and dizziness, according to Thecabin.net.

Five students, five campus  police officers and and a paramedic were sent to Conway Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The building’s air system was inspected. Results from testing by the Conway Fire Department and the Environmental Enterprise Group showed oxygen levels at normal ranges.

On Friday, UCA issued a press release on the situation with an update. It said that officials  will be taking additional measures to ensure that Burdick Hall is safe for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

http://uca.edu/news/uca-officials-to-continue-testing-of-burdick-hall/

Carbon monoxide detectors and oxygen level meters will be installed in the building next week. Officials will also seek an additional test from an independent company specializing in environmental concerns.

Classes scheduled in Burdick Hall will be held in other locations while the building is being tested.

“We want to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and that is why we are taking these additional steps,” said UCA President Tom Courtway.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Scottsdale Carbon Monoxide Leak Forces Evacuation Of Nearly 100

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Posted on 6th June 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A Scottsdale, Ariz., rehabilitation facility remained closed Wednesday in the wake of almost 100 people being  evacuated following a carbon monoxide leak, according to The Arizona Republic.

http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/2012/06/06/20120606scottsdale-rehab-center-remains-closed-after-carbon-monoxide-leak-abrk.html

Sixteen victims were actually taken to the hospital for treatment after the incident Tuesday morning, and they were all released by that night.

On Tuesday clients were taken out of the Scottsdale Treatment and Rehabilitation Services (STARS) center near Osborn and Miller roads after firefighters were called to the scene because someone smelled an odd odor.

The responders found high levels of carbon monoxide in the facility, with the gas leak coming from “an open pipe in an underground vault,” according to The Republic.

People were evacuated and sent to the Scottsdale Stadium, which is across from STARS, a facility for the rehabilitation of teens and adults with cognitive problems, The Republic reported.

On Tuesday firefighters had performed a temporary fix to stop the gas leak, but a permanent repair had to be completed  before the center can re-open.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

$2 Million Settlement Reached In Wisconsin Carbon Monoxide Case

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Posted on 24th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A man who was permanently disabled after suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning while in a recreational vehicle in Wisconsin has accepted a $2 million settlement, according to The Daily Telegram of Adrian, Mich.

http://www.lenconnect.com/news/x1898610278/-2M-accepted-in-carbon-monoxide-case-that-left-Riga-man-permanently-disabled

The plaintiff, 60-year-old Larry Brenke of Riga, Mich., will be getting payments from four defendants in the case, which stems from a June 2009 incident. Brenke was rendered unconscious by the potentially lethal gas while in the RV during a trip to Wisconsin, The Daily Telegram reported.

Under the settlement, RV owner Allen Smith and Al Smith Concrete Construction of Blissfield agreed to pay Brenke $1 million, according to The Daily Telegram. Cobra Truck & Fabrication of Ottawa Lake, which built the RV, will also shell out $1 million.

In addition to them, the companies that did the inspection on the RV and put a carbon monoxide detector in it will pay $75,000 in settlement money, The Daily Telegram reported.

In the carbon monoxide incident, Brenke and another man went with Smith to a tractor-pulling contest in Tomah, Wis. But the trip went awry. The morning after the three men arrived in Wisconsin, Smith and Brenke were discovered unconscious in the RV, according to The Daily Telegram.

Brenke didn’t recover from the injury he suffered due to the carbon monoxide, and his wife Jane was named his guardian.

In April Brenke’s lawsuit went through a case evaluation, and a $2 million settlement was suggested, The Daily Telegram reported.

On top of the two $1 million awards, Walter Kidde Portable Equipment of North Carolina paid $50,000. It had distributed a carbon monoxide detector, made in China, that failed to go off in Smith’s RV. And T.R. Arnold & Associates, the Indiana company that inspected the RV, paid $25,000 in settlement money, according to The Daily Telegram.

The newspaper also reported that Cobra Truck & Fabrication made the RV using a trailer chassis, and then put a “gasoline-fueled electric generator under the living quarters without proper exhaust ventilation.”

Smith had put holes in the RV’s floor to install gear, and that’s how the carbon monoxide got into the RV.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors A Must For Elderly Loved Ones, Neighbors

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Posted on 20th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Let’s hope a life lesson, about how to look out for your elders, is learned from this tragedy.

An 82-year-old Wyckoff, N.J., woman last week died of carbon monoxide in her bedroom, which was located  above the garage where she had left her car running,  The Record of North Jersey reported.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen/bergen_safety/051812_Wyckoff_woman_dies_of_carbon_monoxide_poisoning_after_car_left_running_in_garage.html

The victim as Mary Ringley of Covington Place, according to the Wyckoff police department. Her dog was also found dead in another bedroom in the home, according to The Record.

Ringley had apparently returned home at about 4 p.m. Thursday, and didn’t turn off her car. She was found shortly after noon on Friday by her son, The Record reported.

There wasn’t a single carbon monoxide detector in the house.

Several people posted comments on the story, and the gist of them was all the same: Look out for the elderly.

One man posted, “C’mon folks…. make sure your parents and grandparents have a CO alarm.”

Another person posted, “How about, as a society, stop leaving our elders alone to fend for themselves?”

And a third person wrote, “We need to take care of our own. When we are young our parents take care of us & when they are old we take care of them.”

They are all correct. If you have any older relatives, friends or neighbors, make sure they have working carbon monoxide detectors in their residences.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Blocked Tailpipe Led To Carbon Monoxide Deaths Of Three In Maine

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Posted on 16th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Three people died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Jeep in Maine because the vehicle’s tailpipe was blocked by mud in a blog, according to the Kennebec Journal. It’s a hell of a way to die for a group of friends that was just doing off-road driving for some weekend relaxation.

http://www.kjonline.com/news/trio-may-tried-to-avoid-deadly-fumes_2012-05-14.html

The bodies of Reginald Gay, 41, his wife Samantha Davis-Gay, 33, and Luke Thompson, 22, were found Saturday night in a Jeep Wrangler in Windsor, Maine.

“Investigators believe the three died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning after the Jeep became stuck in a bog and continual revving created excessive exhaust,” the Kennebec Journal wrote.

Authorities said that the Jeep’s exhaust system normally would vent from a tailpipe, but when the vehicle got stuck in the blog the pipe was buried in the mud, blocked by it, according to the Kennebec Journal. That meant that the exhaust fumes filtered into the vehicle instead, killing its passengers.

The article pointed out that the incident was reminiscent of cases when victims die of carbon monoxide poisoning after their car’s tailpipe gets blocked by snow. For example, people stuck in a snowstorm may leave their car engine running to keep warm, but then die because their tailpipe was plugged up by snow.

According to the newspaper, authorities believe that the three victims may have opened the Jeep’s windows at some point because of the smell of the exhaust that the hard-top vehicle was giving off.  It’s unlikely they knew about the carbon monoxide, since it is odorless and colorless — which is what makes it so dangerous.

In fact, the story noted that in December 2010, three people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, but survived, when their car got stock in mud in Kennebec County.

A captain with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department  told the newspaper that if the three victims had opened the back window of the Jeep, it “would have created an air exchange” and then no one would have perished.

Alcohol was found in the Jeep, but authorities wouldn’t comment on whether the victims had been drinking.

 

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Five Treated For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Florida Apartment Building

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Posted on 15th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Five people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday at an apartment complex in DeLand, Fla., according to Central Florida News 13.

http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2012/5/14/_5_treated_for_carbo.html

Local firefighters came to the scene at roughly 3 p.m. when a carbon monoxide alarm sounded at the Taylor Place Apartment on South Woodland Boulevard, News 13 reported. There were five people outside the complex, and they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at the scene.

The carbon monoxide came from a gas cooking stove that apparently wasn’t vented properly, according to News 13.

Responders had a gas monitor, and determined that there were very high levels of carbon monoxide in one of the apartments. Firefighters promptly shut off the gas going to the apartment and ventilated the building, News 13 reported.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Three Die In Jeep Of Apparent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Maine

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Posted on 14th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Three people, apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, were found dead Saturday in a Jeep that got stuck in a Maine bog, according to The Portland Press Herald.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Three-die-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning.html

The victims, two males and a female, were discovered in their Jeep in Windsor, Maine. Authorities had not identified them, pending notice to their next of kin.

The trio was seen on Friday night at roughly 7 p.m., and then went to do some off-road riding in the bog, The Portland Press Herald reported.

Their bodies were found in the Jeep, whose top was on, about 24 hours later, at 7 p.m. Saturday, according to the newspaper.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department suspects that carbon monoxide poisoning caused the deaths.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Connecticut Mandated Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Homes Under Renovation

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Posted on 10th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Connecticut Wednesday passed a bill that mandates carbon monoxide detectors be installed temporarily at homes undergoing alterations if they have a fireplace, fuel-burning appliance or attached garage, according to the Associated Press.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/481404268ff645c3b71da0226381e48a/CT–Smoke-Detectors/

The bill, which also requires that smoke detectors be installed in homes undergoing additions or other work, has  been passed by both chambers of the Nutmeg State’s Legislature. The state Senate approved the bill Wednesday, AP reported.

The legislation was prompted by a Christmas Day tragedy in Stamford, where a couple and their three granddaughters died in a fire at a home that was undergoing work.

The new law lets the Commissioner of Construction Services launch initiatives to make citizens aware of the dangers of not having carbon monoxide or smoke detectors installed in homes, AP said.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Wyoming Woman, With TBI After Carbon Monoxide Leak, Sues Landlord

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Posted on 10th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A Wyoming woman has filed a federal lawsuit against the owner of an apartment complex, claiming she suffered traumatic brain injury following a carbon monoxide leak last year, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

http://trib.com/news/local/casper/casper-woman-sues-apartment-owner-operator-for-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/article_1245d238-2834-5697-a8cb-a9801477ba6e.html

Amber Nicole Lompe alleges that she sustained permanent injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning in her apartment at Sunridge Apartments in Casper. She was living at that complex on Feb. 1, 2011, when carbon monoxide leaked into her room while she was sleeping. The lethal gas apparently came from a furnace and ventilation system, the Star-Tribune reported.

The lawsuit named the apartments’ operator, Apartment Management Consultants, and owner, Sunridge Partners Inc., as defendants, alleging that they were negligent.

The suit charges that Lompre’s apartment had carbon monoxide levels as high as 500 parts per million, and that she had an unsafe level in her blood, according to the Star-Tribune. The average level in a home is 5 parts per million.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants had been aware that the furnace needed to be  either repaired or replaced, since it was had leaked carbon monoxide before.

And in a case of closing the barn door after the cow is out, on Feb. 11, 2011 the defendants gave Lompre a working carbon monoxide detector. Anticipating that she would sue, the defendants also just happened to destroy the furnace, the Star-Tribune reported.

 

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Leak At Arena Sends 50 To Hospital

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Posted on 8th May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Roughly 50 people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning following a hockey game in an arena in Canada, according to CTV News.

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20120507/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-bc-arena-120507/

The incident happened Saturday in Kamloops, British Columbia, and the carbon monoxide apparently came from a boiler. It was shut off and repairs are being made to it, CTV News reported.

The Canadian Coast Guard had played the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and after that sporting event attendees at the game starting coming to a local hospital complaining of symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were still turning up at the hospital Monday morning.

The hospital said it had treated about 50 people, according to CTV News, and three remained in emergency.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Wisconsin Woman Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Trailer Fire ppe

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Posted on 3rd May 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A Chippewa Falls, Wis., woman died following a trailer home fire last week was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a report released Wednesday by the local fire department.

The victim was Kathleen Lindsey, who apparently was overcome by carbon monoxide while trying to escape her burning trailer home at 3 a.m. last Friday, according to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

http://www.leadertelegram.com/news/daily_updates/article_bb7e36ae-9482-11e1-8427-0019bb2963f4.html

Lindsey was discovered unconscious at her trailer home in Indianhead Trailer Court, located in south Chippewa Falls. She was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, and was pronounced dead there, the Leader-Telegram reported.

Unfortunately, there weren’t any smoke alarms in Lindsey’s trailer.

According to the fire department report, the fire started in the living room, possibly caused by a cigarette, while Lindsey was asleep in a bedroom, the Leader-Telegram reported.

The fire likely used up all the oxygen in the trailer before the smoke and heat got to the bedroom and woke up Lindsey, the fire department said. She woke up and left her bedroom, but apparently didn’t make it any farther than a hallway inside the trailer’s rear entry door.

An autopsy found that the carbon monoxide level in Lindsey’s blood was 77.9 percent, according to the Leader-Telegram. Levels higher than 30 percent are lethal. Authorities believe that the woman was rendered unconscious by the high level of carbon monoxide in her trailer, and never made it out the read door.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Five Die Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Washington, D.C., Suburb

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Posted on 25th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Five Salvadoran immigrants died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday in a home in Oxon Hill, Md., according to The Washington Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/five-killed-in-oxon-hill-home-by-apparent-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/2012/04/24/gIQArPHefT_story.html

The son of one of the five victims discovered their bodies in the brick house they dwelled in, which is located in a suburb of Washington, D.C. The bodies were strewn around the house on Shelby Drive.

Authorities in Prince George’s County are blaming a a carbon monoxide leak, from a rusted exhaust pipe that separated from a natural gas furnace, for the deaths, according to The Post. Police told the paper that the pipe, which is supposed to ventilate the carbon monoxide that results from the combustion of gas in the furnace, deteriorated as it aged.

Firefighters detected carbon monoxide levels of 140 parts per million at the front door of the home, The Post reported. That compares to the zero to 5 parts per million that is considered normal and the the 30 parts per million that can kill. Inside the house, the carbon monoxide level went as high a s560 parts per million, according to The Post.

The victims were identified as Oscar Chavez, 57, Sonia Maribel Leiva, 54, Nora Leiva, 57, Francisco Javier Gomez Segovia, 33, and Nelson Enrique Landaverde Alas, 44. The Post reported. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

The group included a married couple, the sister of the wife, and two male family friends.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

West Virginia Hotel Faces Third Lawsuit Over Fatal Carbon Monoxide Leak

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Posted on 20th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A third lawsuit has been filed over a carbon monoxide leak at a Charleston, W.Va., hotel that killed one guest and injured other lodgers.

The newest suit was filed April 10 by Shirley and Tony Linn, who live in Patterson, La., according to The State Law Journal. The lawsuit charges that Shirley was permanently injured after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites.

http://www.statejournal.com/story/17514669/three-lawsuits-filed-in-south-charleston-carbon-monoxide-leak

There was also a suit filed earlier this month by Bain and Dawn Edmondson. That action alleges that Bain sustained personal injuries from the Jan. 30-31 carbon monoxide leak at the Holiday Inn.

The first lawsuit filed in the incident, lodged on March 14, was by Louise Moran. She is the widow of William Moran, who was killed at the hotel. He and Edmondson were sharing a room at the hotel in South Charleston. They were in town to do work on a hangar at Yeager Airport.

The three lawsuits name as defendants: Pikes Inc.; Holiday Inn Express Hotel; general manager Manisha Patel; Premier Pools and employees Steve and Karen Combs; Holiday Hospitality Franchising Inc.; Intercontinental Hotels Group Resources Inc.; and Intercontinental Hotel Group PLLC.

The lawsuits allege that Premier, while replacing the hotel’s pool heater, disconnected a vent pipe. Carbon monoxide then seeped from the pool area to hotel rooms, according to the suit.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Sends Seven To Pennsylvania Hospital

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Posted on 15th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Seven people in Westtown, Pa., were taken to the hospital Saturday night after being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide at a home, according to the Mainline Media News.

http://mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2012/04/15/main_line_suburban_life/news/doc4f8abafe5e95c227565971.txt

The incident happened at a house on Carroll Block Way. According to Goshen Fire Chief Grant Everhart, somebody had been using a gasoline-powered saw in the home’s basement. At least one person got sick, prompting the family to call in the EMTs. The rest of the family then also began to exhibit signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, Main Line Media News reported.

Then two EMTs as well as a police officer also began to feel ill from the carbon monoxide in the home.

In all, two EMTs, a police officer and four family members were taken to the hospital. One of them was airlifted to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

Firefighters used fans to blow the potential lethal carbon monoxide gas out of the home, then checked the levels of the gas, according to Main Line Media News. So the family was free to return to its house once it got home from the hospital.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Tennessee Requires Rental RVs To Have Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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Posted on 15th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam last week signed into a law a bill that mandates that all lease or rental recreational vehicles in the state have working carbon monoxide detectors, according to Clarksville Online.

http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2012/04/13/tennessee-governor-bill-haslam-signs-carbon-monoxide-protection-bill-sponsored-by-montgomery-county-delegation/

The bill was prompted a horrendous accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning incident last year, when five people died in a  recreational vehicle while at a charity event in Clarksville, Tenn.

The survivors of several of the victims were at the ceremony last Wednesday where the governor signed the bill. That group included Christine and Ed Watson, who lost their daughter and son-in-law, according to Clarksville Online.

The new law mandates that lease and rental agreements now include a clause guaranteeing that the recreational vehicle has a working carbon monoxide detector. “Companies can be held liable for violating the requirement,” according to Clarksville Online.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Charleston Hotel Faces Second Suit Over Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 13th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites is facing a second lawsuit stemming from a carbon monoxide leak that killed one man and allegedly injured another in  South Charleston, W.Va., according to the Charleston Daily Mail.

http://www.dailymail.com/News/201204120100

Bain Edmondson, 49, was overcome by carbon monoxide and was found unresponsive in the hotel Jan. 31. He and his wife Dawn have filed suit against Holiday Inn Express. The suit charges that Edmondson suffered “neuronal cell death, cognitive impairment and pulmonary and cardiac damage,” according to the Daily Mail.

The Edmondsons are seeking compensatory and punitive damages from not only the hotel but a long list of companies.

The widow of the man, William Moran, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the hotel during the same incident is already suing. She filed a lawsuit in March, the local newspaper reported.

Moran and Edmondson were both working in Charleston for Rosciti Construction Group. They were sharing a room at the Holiday Inn Express when carbon monoxide leaked from a pool heater on the first floor into their fifth-floor room. The Daily Mail reported that Moran was pronounced dead at the scene, while Edmondson was taken to a local hospital to undergo treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

Two workers at the hotel were also treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the Daily Mail, the defendants named in the Edmondsons’ suit include: Pikes Inc., which  operated or  managed the South Charleston Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites; Holiday Hospitality Franchising Inc., the company that franchises Holiday Inn Express hotels; and InterContinental Hotels Group Resources Inc., which owns stock in the subsidiary companies.

The defendants, the local paper reported, also include: InterContinental Hotels Group Resources PLC; InterContinental Hotels Corp.;  Six Continents Hotels Inc.; and JP Mechanical Inc., a Charleston company that worked on the hotel pool heater.

The Edmondsons are also suing Premier Pools of Huntington, W.Va.,  its owner Karen Combs, and her husband Steve, who worked the hotel pool heater before the fatal carbon monoxide poisoning incident.

The couple also named Manisha Patel, the hotel general manager, as a defendant in its lawsuit, which was filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Four Treated For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Caused By Water Heater

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Posted on 8th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Four people, including two toddlers, in Antelope, Calif., were sent to the hospital Saturday morning for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to KRCA’s website.

http://www.kcra.com/r/30853114/detail.html

Firefighters were called to a home on Little Rock Drive, where a 23-year-old woman and 17-year-old female youth said that they were nauseous and had headaches, KCRA reported. There was also a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old in the house.

The responders immediately suspected that carbon monoxide was making the residents ill, and tested the air in the home. They discovered high levels of carbon monoxide, and immediately shut the gas to the house, according to KCRA. They let the dangerous fumes escape by opening the windows and doors.

Authorities suspect that the carbon monoxide came from a water heater that wasn’t correctly vented, KCRA reported.

The home didn’t have a carbon monoxide detector, as required by law. Effective last July, single-family homes in the Golden State were required to install carbon monoxide detectors.

That mandate becomes effective for leased or rented multi-family dwellings, including apartments, by Jan. 1, 2013, according to KCRA.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Nevada Supreme Court To Consider Legal Issues From Motel Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 7th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The Nevada Supreme Court will be reviewing a case stemming from an incident where four guests of a motel died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Courthouse News Service. They were killed at the Casino West Motel in Yerington, Nev., in 2006 when fatal fumes from a pool heater filtered into their rooms, whose airways were blocked.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/06/45417.htm

Two questions stemming from an insurance dispute over the accident Friday were certified by the 9th Circuit to go to the high court, Courthouse News Service reported.

The survivors of the four people killed sued, but the motel’s insurer, Century Surety Co., said it was not liable under its policy’s “pollution and indoor-air-quality exclusions,” according to the news service.

Those exclusions deny coverage for accidental injury or death that results from “smoke, fumes, vapor or soot from equipment used to heat the building” and “toxic, hazardous, noxious, irritating, pathogenic or allergen qualities or characteristics of indoor air regardless of cause,” Courthouse News Service reported.

Century had gone to federal court in Reno seeking a ruling that it wasn’t bound to indemnify Casino West Motel in any wrongful-death litigation from the accident. The motel accused the insurer of bad faith, and the court ruled in its favor, according to Courthouse News Service.

That court at first prevented Century from going to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit, but relented. On Friday, the appellate panel said it would not rule until the Nevada Supreme Court made a determination on Century’s policy exclusions.

In its order, quoted by the news service, the three-judge appeals panel said that Nevada, home of a huge hotel industry, has not “expressly decided the scope of the pollution exclusion.”

“Casino West contends that the fact that so many courts have reached different opinions conclusively establishes the exclusion as ambiguous,” the order states, according to Courthouse News Service.

“However, Casino West has not cited any Nevada cases so holding, and we have not found any on our own. Given the magnitude of the hotel industry in Nevada, we believe the question of the ambiguity of this standard insurance exclusion is one of exceptional importance to Nevada insurers and insureds.”

There are two questions of law that need to be answered: “Does the pollution exclusion in Century’s insurance policy exclude coverage of claims arising from carbon monoxide exposure?” and  “Does the indoor air quality exclusion in Century’s insurance policy exclude coverage of claims arising from carbon monoxide exposure?”

Courthouse News Service also provided this text from the 9th Circuit order.

“These questions are determinative in this case,” the order states. “If both exclusions are ambiguous, as the district court found, then Casino West’s claims would be covered by Century. However, if one or both of the exclusions is unambiguous, then the opposite result would occur and Century would have no duty to defend or indemnify Casino West with regard to the wrongful death suits.”


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Missouri Couple Dies Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 5th April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A eldery couple in Missouri died of carbon monoxide poisoning last Sunday, a tragedy that authorities are blaming on recent odd weather patterns, according to KRVI-TV onlone.

http://fox2now.com/2012/04/04/firefighters-warn-residents-after-couple-dies-from-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/

The married couple, whose names had not been released,  were discovered in their home in Florissant by a neighbor.

Police and firefighters blamed the deaths on carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the TV station, all the homes in the neighborhood where the couple was lived were brick and constructed in the 1950s. These homes are on concrete slabs with with radiant heating, with cooling systems added on late. The cooliung systems have a separate thermostat than the heater.

It was hot in the St. Louis area, so the air conditioner in the deceased couple’s home was turned on. But during the night, when the temperature cooled down, the thermostat for the heating turned on the heat.

Investigators claim that the the two competing thermostats, as well as a blocked flue, resulted in the carbon monoxide poisoning.

In order to warn others in the neighborhood of the potential danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, firefighters went from house to house, KVRI reported.

Authorities advised homeowners not to have two thermostats, only one, or to check that one is always off. People were also advised to install carbon monoxide detectors in their bedrooms.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide, Not Homicide, Blamed For The 2006 Deaths Of Three Men

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Posted on 1st April 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A 5-year-old triple-homicide case in Pennsylvania has apparently been solved: The murderer was carbon monoxide.

The case involved suspicious deaths that were initially considered murders by authorities. But recent scientific tests, prompted by a story by the Associated Press, now seem to confirm the the deaths were most likely caused by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2012/03/20/ap_carbon_monoxide_likely_culprit_in_3_pa_deaths/

The case revolved around deaths of three cousins — David Grasch, Tony DiMartino and Pat Mahoney —   who traveled to a cabin in rural Forkston, Pa., on Nov. 14, 2006, according to AP. The trio apparently planned to do some work on the house, which was only half built. The weather was cold, and that night the men called home. They were never heard from again, and it is believed they died not long after getting to the cabin.

After the first call four days passed without a word from the three men, and their relatives got nervous. Grasch’s brother, Stephen, asked neighbors in Forkston to check the cabin. They found the bodies of the three men, who were in their 20s, in a living room, according to AP.

Authorities and relatives immediately suspected that Stephen, who AP said was later convicted of running a cocaine ring in Cape May, N.J., was involved in the deaths. According to AP, Stephen passionately proclaimed his innocence and paid for a  lie detector test regarding the deaths.

Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, Pa., did tests on the bodies of the three victims shortly after their deaths, and those test results made authorities believe that carbon monoxide poisoning wasn’t the cause of their demise back in 2006, AP reported.

The wire service ran a fifth anniversary story on the mysterious deaths of the three men in November 2011, and that article apparently prompted officials to take another look at the case. AP reported that authorities conducted reenactments at the Forkston cabin using the same gas generator and portable space heaters that the three men had in the cabin five years ago.

One reenactment was done in November and a second one was performed in March, AP said, and both found the same thing: lethal levels of carbon monoxide.

So authorities are now conceding that it was likely carbon monoxide poisoning, not murder, that did in the three men.

Now officials are trying to determine why the tests at Moses Taylor Hospital apparently were not correct, according to AP.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Five Hospitalized Following Carbon Monoxide Leak In California Home

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Posted on 19th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Five people from a home in Santa Maria, Calif., Sunday morning were taken to hospitals for treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Santa Maria Times.

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/people-taken-to-hospitals-for-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/article_9938e56e-7117-11e1-a7e4-001871e3ce6c.html

The Santa Maria Fire Department responded to a report of a gas leak at roughly 4 a.m. at a single-family home on East Alvin Avenue, the local newspaper reported.

When they arrived the responders saw a adult male stagger out of the home’s front door. The firefighters then evacuated two children and two more adults from the house.

All five people were conscious, but said they felt sick and had headaches, according to the Santa Maria Times. The two adults who were most ill were taken to Marian Regional Medical Center, while the remaining adult and two children were transported to Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

Southern California Gas Co. came to the house to help find the source of the gas leak, and believe that the carbon monoxide came from a forced-air heating unit, the Santa Maria Times reported. That unit was on.

Firefighters used fans to clear the deadly CO gas from the house, which didn’t have a working carbon monoxide detector.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Three Painters Die Of Apparent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In California Home

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Posted on 18th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Three painters died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., home Friday, according to The Press-Enterprise.

http://www.pe.com/local-news/breaking-news-headlines/20120317-rancho-cucamonga-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-possible-in-painters-deaths.ece

The three victims had been doing work, painting, for the owner of a home located on Autumn Leaf Drive, the newspaper quoted from a sheriff’s department press release.

The homeowner found the bodies of the three men when he returned to his house on Friday. They were pronounced dead at the scene, The Press-Enterprise reported.

The bodies did not display any injuries, and authorities suspect that the trio died of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Autopsies will be performed on the bodies next week.

The victims were Francisco Corado, 27, Oscar Aguirre, 44, and Jahiron Aaron Mejia-Morales, 24. Corado and Aguirre were residents of Cathedral City. There was no address given for Mejia-Morales.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Christmas Day Fire Leads To Connecticut Bill Mandating CO, Smoke Detectors In Homes

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Posted on 17th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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It doesn’t get much worse than this: Three girls and their two grandparents were killed in a Christmas Day fire in Stamford, Conn. But some good may come out of that tragic situation.

Connecticut now has a bill, prompted by that Christmas horror, that requires residential buildings to have both carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. On Thursday, that bill went through a legislative public safety committee in an 18-5 vote, according to The Hartford Courant.

http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-stamford-smoke-detectors-0316-20120315,0,3722778.story

There is one catch. That committee excised a part of the bill that called for fines for those who don’t comply with it. Public officials, according to The Courant, didn’t think that the fine could effectively be enforced. But they believe even without fines the bill will increase public awareness of the necessity for carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.

The Nutmeg State already has a law that mandates that commercial buildings and multifamily structures have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, The Courant reported. But now residential buildings will be subject to the same mandate.

The original version of the pending bill included fines of $200 to $1,000, or jail for six months, or both, for infractions. But that provision has been removed.

According to The Courant, the bill also mandates that homes that are being renovated must have working carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. They can be shut off during the day when work is being done, but must be turned on again at night.

In the fatal Stamford fire, the home that went ablaze was being renovated and didn’t have working smoke detectors.

This pending bill is great in that it kills the proverbial two birds with one stone, by requiring carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms in residential buildings.

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Tennessee Passes Law Ordering Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Rental RVs

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Posted on 15th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Here’s a law that I’d like to see instituted in more states.

On Wednesday Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that mandates that recreational vehicles that are rented out must have carbon monoxide detectors, WRIR-TV’s website reported.

http://www.wbir.com/news/article/211032/2/Gov-passes-law-requiring-carbon-monoxide-detectors-in-rental-RVs

That law represents a smart government response to a tragedy last year, when five people died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a biker charity event in the town of Clarksville, Tenn., according to www.wbir.com.

In that fatal  incident, there was a generator operating near a vent for the trailer where the five victims were sleeping.

The new Tennessee law says that all RV lease or rental contracts  have to include a statement guaranteeing that the vehicle has a working carbon monoxide detector.

It’s a great law, and other states should follow suit.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Family Sues Over Tampa Woman’s Carbon Monoxide Death

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Posted on 12th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The survivors of a Tampa woman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning last year are suing her apartment building owner, its architect and the person who left his car running in its garage, according to Tampa Bay Online.

http://www2.tbo.com/news/breaking-news/2012/mar/11/5/memeto2-family-files-civil-suit-in-womans-death-ar-367890/

The civil lawsuit stems from the death of Rebecca Hawk, who was a 23-year-old child-protection investigator trainee in the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, TBO.com reported.

Last September Hawk’s body was discovered in her apartment, with the death determined to be an accident caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

The lawsuit names Hawk’s neighbor Andrew Grywalski as one of its defendants.  He inadvertently left his Mazda running in the apartment garage for 12 hours, according to TBO.com.

But the suit also names the landowner of Hawk’s apartment, Breof TC Vista Grand; the apartment manager Fairfield Property Management;  an engineer; a contractor and an architect as defendants, alleging that they were negligent.

The lawsuit charges that Breof and Fairfield didn’t maintain a separation wall between Hawk’s apartment and the garage, and that the wall didn’t have proper insulation, TBO.com reported.

The suit also alleges that the landowner and apartment manager failed to keep the garage in good repair.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Elderly Man Dies, Two Others Hospitalized, For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Near Pittsburgh

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Posted on 12th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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One man was killed and two others were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning Saturday in a suburb of  Pittsburgh, Pa., according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12070/1215854-55.stm

The victims were discovered when police in Baldwin Borough got a call at about 10 p.m. about a car left running in a garage.

The fatality, John Stephenson, 87, was dead at the scene on Keenan Drive, the Post-Gazette reported.

Two unidentified people were transported to a local hospital for treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. Their condition wasn’t known.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Keyless-Car Ignitions Claim More Victims: When Is Detroit Going To Do Something?

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Posted on 10th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Beware: A keyless-car ignition is once again being blamed for carbon-monoxide poisoning fatalities. And people are suing automakers over the issue.

Last weekend in Boca Raton, Fla., elderly Adele Ridless and Mort Victor were found dead in the bedroom of their home, apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning when they left their car running, according to a story in Hernando Today.

http://www2.hernandotoday.com/news/opinion/2012/mar/07/haopino1-florida-needs-carbon-monoxide-detectors-ar-366334/

Ridless, 69, and Victor, 79, had gone out to eat and returned home, apparently leaving their keyless ignition Mercedes running in their garage. There is a double tragedy here, due to lax regulations regarding both keyless ignitions and laws on carbon monoxide detectors.

A story in Hernando Today pointed out that Florida’s laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors are less than stringent. In the Sunshine States, the law only requires hotels, motels, and buildings put up after July 2008 that have fossil-fuel burning heaters, appliances or fireplaces to install carbon monoxide detectors.

Simply put, that’s ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that in 2010 35 Florida residents died of carbon monoxide poisoning, an increase from 18 in 2001, according to Hernando Today.

The second obvious lesson in all this is that auto makers need to install automatic shutoffs or warning systems for car owners with keyless ignitions.

According to ABC News, the Center for Auto Safety is aware of six deaths that it’s blaming on push-button starters. The safety group is asking automakers (160 car models now have a keyless-starter option) to go back to old-fashioned keys. Since there is no key in an ignition to turn off, drivers sometimes forget to turn their cars off, leaving running and spewing potentially fatal fumes.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/hazards-keyless-car-ignitions-dangerous/story?id=15874018#.T1mV0nnDUco

Some people who have been in that situation, who have owned push-button starts cars and allegedly suffered losses, have filed against some car manufacturers, according to ABC. Mary Rivera is one of the plaintiffs.

ABC interviewed Rivera, a Long Island, N.Y., resident who unfortunately knows all too well the dangers of keyless car ignitions. In 2009 she inadvertently left her Toyota running in her garage. Her husband died of carbon monoxide poisoning, while Rivera, unconscious, was rescued by her brother.

Toyota told ABC that its autos sound an alarm if a motorist leaves one of its cars without shutting if off. I guess that warning didn’t sound off in Rivera’s case.

An official with the Center for Auto Safety conceded to ABC that drivers have to be held partially to blame for leaving their cars running, but added “the cost of forgetfulness should not be death by carbon monoxide.”

The National Traffic Safety Administration is also lobbying for automakers to “standardize all the push-button starters to avoid confusion,” according to ABC. It needs to advocate much stronger safeguards, such as warning alarms, for the button-style car starters.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Two West Virginia Motels Shut Down For Carbon Monoxide Violations

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Posted on 9th March 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Two West Virginia motels were evacuated and shut down Wednesday because they posed a threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to WSAZ-TV’s website.

http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/141774083.html

The American Inn and the Budget Inn in Hurricane, West Va.,  were ordered closed following a routine fire inspection Wednesday morning, according to Hurricane Fire Chief Frank Stover. The two motels are situated on Hurricane Creek Road.

One of Stover’s inspectors discovered potentially dangerous gaps, due to improper gas caps, in some of the pipes in the two motels.

The motels had single-wall pipes going into triple-wall pipes, and “this poses a threat because the pipes aren’t properly sealed and gas could leak out of them,” according to WSAZ.com. There was also a problem with wiring in an attic.

After an inspector found the violations he had the 15 occupants of the motels evacuated and ordered the closed.

Motel employees and guests were tested for carbon monoxide poisoning, but none needed medical attention, WSAZ.com reported.

The Hurricane Fire Department also contacted state officials about the two motels, which Stover told WSAZ.com would remain closed until the violations are addressed.

Stover was quoted as saying that he didn’t want the kind of situation that South Charleston had in January, when one man died and more than a dozen became sick as the result of a carbon monoxide leak in a Holiday Inn Express.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Responsible for Evacuation

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Posted on 19th November 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

 Once again undetected Carbon Monoxide could have severely injured unsuspecting people.  Last night around 9:00pm an apartment building was evacuated in DePere Wisconsin.  The fire department was called in as some of the residents were experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.  It turns out that the levels of carbon monoxide rose to over 300 parts per million.  100 parts per million is considered a dangerous level and 200 parts per million is when the fire fighters are required to wear oxygen masks.

The fire department blamed a natural gas heater located in a warehouse behind and outside the living units of the apartment building.The gas made its way into the building where the residents were.  Thirty people were evacuated but only two were taken to the hospital.  The condition of these two is unknown.

Carbon monoxide can quickly soar to a high level before anyone is effected.   The article states that a monitor detected the carbon monoxide at 300 part per million but does not say whether that was a monitor that was in the building or one that the fire department brought in.  A CO detector in the living quarters may have prevented the exposure and prevented injury.  Everyone should have working carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of their residence.

We wonder why  only two out of the thirty residents were sent to the hospital for treatment.  What about the other twenty-eight?  They should also be tested for carbon monoxide poisoning, Even though they may not have been exhibiting symptoms of the exposure they may have been exposed to dangerous levels themselves.  All of them should have been tested.  There is a simple blood test to check for carbon monoxide, called a carboxyhemoglobin test.  Such test will provide clear evidence that someone has been exposed to carbon monoxide.  The test for carboxyhemoglobin is similar to a blood test for alcohol.  It will show if the toxin is there, but only if the blood is tested shortly after the exposure.  If not done within a day or two, the chances are the test will be irrelevant.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Seattle

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Posted on 1st November 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

 Seven people were taken to the hospital Wednesday night for carbon monoxide poisoning.  This happened at a condominium complex in Seattle, where the CO was notice the smell of exhaust and alerted authorities.   Two out the seven show significant impairment from the exposure and were being treated with hyperbaric oxygen treatment.  These two individuals are still in critical condition and may have long term severe impairments. In fact, the problems associated with carbon monoxide exposure could actually get worse for all seven individuals for up to the next 40 days.  See our page on Delayed Neurological Sequelae of CO exposure.  http://codamage.com/carbon_monoxide_poisoning/carbon_monoxide_delayed_onset.html

Further, if there was sufficient carbon monoxide in this building for these seven individuals to get hospitalized, others living there could also be effected.  It is key to determine the source of the CO and to make sure that all those who could have inhaled it, get their blood tested for carboxyhemoglobin.  It is critical that such tests are done now, as the evidence may go away, but the disability could be quite significant.

While carbon monoxide is odorless, sometimes people are warned of the danger because they can smell exhaust, such as in this case.  When coupled with things that smell, like automobile exhaust, people can be warned. What makes it so dangerous in dwellings is that it may exist, even when there isn’t smoke or exhaust odors.  But certainly, when you smell smoke, there is probably carbon monoxide in the air.

This is not the first and only incident of carbon monoxide poisoning in the past several months.

There is the incident this past July where a hotel in the mountains of North Carolina, specifically Boone North Carolina, where three deaths are blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning, in two separate incidents, months apart. An elderly couple died in one incident but no corrective actions were taken and then months later,  an eleven year old boy died in the same room.

In June of this year there was a carbon monoxide incident in Lake Delton Wisconsin (a popular tourist town aka as the Wisconsin Dells) that sent several people to the hospital.  This time there were carbon monoxide detectors in place.  But it took the employees to get unexplained headaches before they became aware that the carbon monoxide detector was flashing.  Doesn’t seem like a very practicalway to be notified of unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.  Why didn’t an alarm go off once the levels became unsafe.  It seems that this instance of sending people to the hospital could also have been prevented. There were no deaths attributed to this incidence.

The winter of 2013 was brutal in some parts of the country with unusually high amounts of snow accumulations.   In Boston after what was named the “Blizzard of 2013” there were three incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning.  It was reported that a 14 year old boy died from carbon monoxide poisoning while waiting inside the car while his father dug the car out after a blizzard. In a second incident a man died who had the heat running in his car trying to stay warm and didn’t realize that the tail pipe was buried in snow.  And a third incident a three and four year old were in a car trying to stay warm but thankfully they were discovered in time to be treated and they survived.

Just last week at the track in Clarksville Tennesee a couple, while enjoying a weekend spent doing their favorite past time of race car spectating, were sleeping in their motor home and the husband died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The wife was treated and considered to be alright.  Motor homes of all vehicles should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors.  Deaths, brain damage and other organ damage could be avoided if precautions are taken.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Carbon Monoxide Easily Passes Through Drywall, Study Says

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Posted on 21st August 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A new study has discovered a pretty disturbing, deadly fact: The lethal gas carbon monoxide can pass through gypsum wallboard, better known as drywall. Simply put, your home’s own walls won’t protect you from the poisonous gas that could filter in from a neighbor’s apartment.

That’s the topic of a story Forbes published Tuesday headlined “Carbon Monoxide, A Silent Killer: Are You Safe?’ Apparently, you often are not. The article is a fine primer on the dangers of CO poisoning, and talks about the implications and issues that arise out of the new research.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/marijkevroomendurning/2013/08/20/carbon-monoxide-a-silent-killer-are-you-safe/

The story cited a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). That research  determined that carbon monoxide passes through drywall, the apparently quite porous material typically used as walls and ceiling in homes.

Here is the summary of the research that JAMAs provided

 http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1730499

“Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a significant U.S. health problem, responsible for approximately 500 accidental deaths annually,1 and a risk of 18% to 35% for cognitive brain injury 1 year after poisoning.2 Most morbidity and mortality from CO poisoning is believed to be preventable through public education and CO alarm use.

States have been enacting legislation mandating residential CO alarm installation.3 However, as of December 2012, 10 of the 25 states with statutes mandating CO alarms exempted homes without fuel-burning appliances or attached garages, believing that without an internal CO source, risk is eliminated. This may not be true if CO diffuses directly through wallboard material.”

The Forbes story quoted the JAMA study’s lead author, who explained that in a multi-family building, one of your neighbors could foolishly bring a charcoal grill inside to their own apartment, for example. The carbon monoxide from that grill could infiltrate your apartment by passing through the drywall, and if you are exempt from having a CO detector under your state’s law, you could sustain carbon monoxide poisoning.

That why some of the experts in the Forbes story say that state laws should require all homes to have CO detectors, not just residences with gas stoves and fireplaces or an attached garage where a car could be left idling, according to Forbes. As one expert said, once the gas is in a building it can go from unit to unit.

Forbes cited a case in a county in North Carolina, which required most houses to have CO detectors, but exempted all-electric residences that didn’t have attached garages. Alarms that were powered by electricity alone were  also permitted.

Months later, when an ice storm knocked out power for nine days, there were 124 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in the county, Forbes said. And roughly 96 percent of the “severe” poisonings happened in homes that didn’t have a functioning CO detector.

As a result, the North Carolina county changed its ordinance to mandate carbon monoxide detectors in all homes, and that the devices installed had to have a back-up battery system, according to Forbes.

The Centers for Disease Control also offered its own scary fact: That just 30 percent of U.S. homes have working carbon monoxide detectors.

Perhaps even worse, according to Forbes, is that some folks mistakenly believe that their smoke detectors also act as carbon monoxide alarms.

The Forbes story also addressed an issue that I’ve written many blogs about, namely carbon monoxide poisoning in hotels. When you are traveling, you should proactively protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning by bringing a portable carbon monoxide detector with you, Forbes suggested.

It’s good advice. Such CO alarms can be purchased in hardware stores, and are small and relatively cheap, according to Forbes.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

CO Detectors Never Installed At N.C. Hotel Where 3 Died

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Posted on 12th August 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Here are some more disturbing findings coming out of the investigation of the Boone, N.C., hotel where three guests apparently succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning and died.

The Charlotte Observer reported Sunday that the Best Western hotel didn’t put in carbon monoxide detectors — as recommended by an instruction manual — when it installed a pool heater believed to have been the source of the lethal gas.

 http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/11/3100415/boone-hotel-heater-came-with-warnings.html

Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza, run by Appalachian Hospitality Management, had transferred that heater out of another hotel operated by the company, a Sleep Inn, in 2011, the Observer reported. The move of that heater, by the way, was done without any permit or inspection, which the newspaper said was an apparent violation of North Carolina’s building code.

Here is the rundown in this series of errors by the hotel and public officials that apparently led to three innocent victims losing their lives.

In April an elderly married couple, Daryl and Shirley Jenkins, died in room 225 of the Best Western. Despite the suspicious nature of their deaths, local fire officials never tested for carbon monoxide at the scene, according to the Observer.

The county medical examiner didn’t deign to come to the hotel room, nor did he ask for a toxicology test on Mrs. Jenkins to be expedited. That report ended up being sent to the ME a week before room 225 had claimed a third victim, 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams. The report said that Mrs. Jenkins had deadly levels of CO in her blood.

Nonetheless room 225, located directly above the hotel pool, remained in use.  And Williams died. The ME has since resigned.

The Observer obtained a copy of the owner’s manual for the Jandy Lite 2 pool heater that the Best Western moved from the Sleep Inn. Its first page “strongly recommends” that carbon monoxide detectors be installed near the heater when it is used for an indoor pool, the paper reported.

The manual also warns that faulty installation of the heater can cause death or severe injury from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Observer.

And here’s another little twist in the case. The Best Western had a contractor convert fireplaces in the rooms that had them, which included 225, to natural gas. As part of that process, the contractor was supposed to install carbon monoxide detectors in rooms that had undergone the conversion. Instead, the contractor mistakenly put in alarms that detected combustible gas, the Observer said, not CO.

Needless to say, a carbon monoxide alarm in room 225 would have saved several lives.

Thankfully, the three victims have not died in vain. Last month the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that mandates that hotels put in CO detectors in enclosed spaces that have that a fossil-fuel-burning appliance, heater or fireplace, as well as in hotel rooms that share a floor, wall or ceiling with such spaces, the Observer reported.

That law goes into effect in October.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

One Dead, 16 Suffer Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Farm

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Posted on 4th August 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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One person was killed and 16 suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning at a packing facility at a North Carolina farm Friday night, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130804/NEWS/308040059/Toxic-fumes-blamed-Macon-farm-worker-death?nclick_check=1

EMTs arrived at Norton Creek Farms in Franklin, N.C., about 7 p.m. Friday, where they found two workers who were unresponsive. The two were discovered in a refrigerated house where fruits and vegetables are kept, the Citizen-Times reported.

One of those workers suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead at Angel Medical Center in Franklin, while the other worker was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital, condition unknown.

Four witnesses who tried to help at the scene were overcome by the carbon monoxide, whose source is under investigation. In addition, 11 people from the Macon County Sheriff’s Department and local fire departments also got ill from their exposure to the lethal gas, according to the Citizen-Times.

Many of them were dizzy and vomiting, and they were taken to Angel Medical.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Tenn. Merchant Overcome By CO Poisoning At His Shop

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Posted on 3rd August 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The owner of a Kingsport, Tenn., automobile paint shop — known for appearing in local commercials — was found suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning Friday morning at his business, according to the Times News.

 http://www.timesnews.net/article/9065689/bill-mcconnell-suffers-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-at-kingsport-paint-shop

Bill McConnell was taken from his establishment, Bill McConnell Paint and Body Shop, to Holston Valley Medical Center, where he was in stable condition. A dog that McConnell kept on his premises was killed by the carbon monoxide that sickened McConnell.

A little bit before 8 a.m. an employee found McConnell mumbling, and that he had had also vomited, the Times News reported. McConnell sometimes stayed overnight at his shop because he lived out of state, the paper said.

EMTs were called to the scene, and apparently at that point McConnell was more coherent.

The Kingsport Fire Department suspected that the source of the carbon monoxide was “gas-powered equipment in the garage area, which was not burning off property,” the Times News wrote. The entire building had to be fully ventilated.

 

 

 

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Thomas Cook Wins Damages Over Two CO Deaths At Greek Hotel

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Posted on 31st July 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Unfortunately, the United States isn’t the only country where guests are being killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in hotels.

There has been some legal resolution over the deaths of Christianne Shepherd, 7, and her brother Robert, 6, who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning in October 2006 in a hotel in Corfu, Greece. According to Travel Weekly UK, the British kids died when a gas boiler used to heat water for their room malfunctioned, sending the deadly gas into their quarters at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2013/07/30/44829/cook+wins+damages+from+carbon+monoxide+deaths+hotel.html

Now a judge had ruled that tour operator Thomas Cook wasn’t liable for the tragic accident, and ordered the hotel to pay interim damages to Cook of 1 million pounds, Travel Weekly UK reported.

Cook is seeking 5 million pounds in damages, for expenses it paid as a result of the accidental deaths, including legal fees for two of its employees who were originally charged with manslaughter in Greece. One of those workers was acquitted and charges were dropped against the other one.

Three employees of the hotel, including its manager at the time of the deaths, were convicted of manslaughter in Greece and received 7-year sentences, according to Travel Weekly UK.

The hotel’s owner has already reached a settlement with the parents of the children that were killed, Sharon Wood and Neil Shepherd. But Wood told BBC News that she was blindsided by Cook’s action against the Louis hotel.

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-23504911

Wood said that she wasn’t aware that Cook had taken legal action against the hotel, and had she known she wouldn’t have accepted a settlement from the hotel that was less than the interim payment that the tour operator has just received, according to BBC News.

She noted that it had been a big financial burden to spend several years traveling to Greece for legal proceedings relating to the deaths of her children.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Three In Falls Church Hospitalized For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 25th July 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Three people in Falls Church, Va., had to be hospitalized Wednesday for carbon monoxide poisoning after a faulty furnace leaked the lethal gas, according to WTOP-TV. Their apartment building was evacuated.

http://www.wtop.com/149/3398640/Carbon-monoxide-poisoning-in-Falls-Church-sends-3-to-hospital

Fairfax County EMTs were called to the Baileys Crossroads apartment building at Malibu Circle at 2:30 a.m., the TV station reported. Several of the residents has symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, including nausea and dizziness.

A man and woman were taken to INOVA Fairfax Hospital, while another man was sent to Arlington Hospital. Authorities told WTOP-TV that the three were going to recover.

Residents in the apartment building were evacuated after firefighters tested and found dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. The building was ventilated, WTOP-TV said.

Workers from Washington Gas were called to the scene and found that a faulty furnace was the source of the carbon monoxide.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Indiana Couple Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 16th July 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A coroner confirmed Monday that a young Indiana couple found in their house on the Fourth of July died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Associated Press.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/70141831ccec41f9b419ee4d0fa10ed9/IN–Couple-Found-Dead

Mitchell Rider, 28, and Jamie Hooker, 28, were found by Rider’s father, who also discovered that there was a car left running in their garage, AP reported.

Elkhart County Coroner John White said that tests found that the victims had more than 80 percent carbon monoxide in their blood, when a mere 40 percent is toxic, according to AP.

Authorities are still investigating the deaths.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Elderly Penn. Man Killed In Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Posted on 15th July 2013 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A 95-year-old Pennsylvania man was found dead, and his sister was rendered unconscious, due to carbon monoxide fumes from a car left running in their garage, according to KDKA.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/07/13/elderly-man-found-dead-in-apparent-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-incident

The tragedy happened Saturday night in Baldwin, Pa., in a home that the elderly brother and sister shared.

The body of the victim, Jack Skerba, was discovered in the upstairs of the home, KDKA reported. An autopsy was set to be performed on his body Sunday,

The sister was hospitalized, but is expected to recover, KDKA said.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.