Earlier this month in Michigan, one boy was killed and 14 others hospitalized after they were all exposed to what was believed to be carbon monoxide while at a hotel’s indoor swimming pool. According to a local news source covering the tragedy, many of the injured guests were found unconscious in the pool area, which evidently did not have a carbon monoxide detector.
Responding authorities took a sample of the air in the indoor pool area and found that there were 800 parts per million of carbon monoxide. The standard for one-hour exposure is just 35 parts per million.
Authorities investigating the accident told reporters that the hotel was not technically required to have a carbon monoxide detector installed. Michigan law requires all new buildings built before December 1, 2009 to have carbon monoxide detectors installed before they are opened to the public. However, older buildings like the hotel were given until April 20 of this year to comply with the requirements.
The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is emitted when certain machinery is running. For example, cars, trucks, stoves, grills, lanterns, gas rangers, and furnaces all emit carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is toxic, and inhalation of the gas can be fatal if it is found in a sufficient quantity. It is estimated that carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for about 400 deaths a year across the United States.
Most commonly, side effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain, upset stomach, and confusion. In many cases, people suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning will feel intoxicated and very sleepy.
Carbon Monoxide Requirements in Hotels
Most states do not require that hotels or motels install carbon monoxide detectors in rooms. However, 16 states do require carbon monoxide detectors in hotels. Indiana is not among the states that require carbon monoxide detectors. In fact, Indiana is among the few states that do not require carbon monoxide detectors in private residences.
While Indiana law does not require that carbon monoxide detectors are installed in hotels or motels, that does not mean that anyone who has been injured due to carbon monoxide poisoning is without recourse. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, anyone who has been a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning in a public building may be able to pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.
Have You Been a Victim of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Business owners and property owners owe a duty of care to ensure that their premises are safe for their guests. When a business owner fails to keep a safe premise, they may be held liable for any injuries that result from that lapse in care. Call the dedicated premises liability attorneys at the Indiana law firm of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse at 888-532-7766 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
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