On August 24, hundreds of staff members and guests were evacuated from a Best Western Plus in Lackawanna County, due to a carbon monoxide leak. A total of 200 people were displaced from the hotel, with roughly 30 sent to a local hospital. Almost all of those receiving treatment were sent home by the following day.
Investigators combed the property for hours the next day, trying to determine the cause of the leak. Inspectors searched the hotel floor-by-floor, closely examining the building for health and safety violations.
In addition to the carbon dioxide issue, borough leaders noted that several other safety violations, including electrical issues, were found at the property. Consequently, while a sign on the building noted it would be closed for 72 hours, it was expected to be longer.
An acting manager of the hotel noted they are committed to fixing the issues and re-opening the hotel as soon as possible. It is unknown if any of the victims have pursued a premises liability lawsuit after suffering carbon monoxide exposure.
No working carbon monoxide detectors found on property
According to officials, no working carbon monoxide detectors were found on the property. The reason the colorless, odorless, tasteless gas was detected at all was due to a faulty poor heater without proper ventilation.
It is fortunate for everyone on the property that the carbon dioxide was detected at all, as due to its large size, it could have taken a few days or more for the gas to build up.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. Too much exposure to the gas can decrease a person’s ability to absorb oxygen, causing severe tissue damage. The gas is produced by appliances and devices producing combustion fumes, becoming dangerous when too much of it builds up in a poorly ventilated space.
A few common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Blurred vision
- Dull headache
- Shortness of breath
Carbon monoxide can especially dangerous to people who are sleeping or intoxicated, as they may not realize there’s a problem, which can lead to death. Unborn babies, children and older adults are also at a greater risk, as they may be more susceptible to harm from exposure.
Even if those exposed to the gas live through the experience, they may experience very serious injuries such as permanent brain damage and severe heart damage.
To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s a good idea to invest in carbon monoxide detectors. It is also advisable to open the garage door before starting the car, use appliances as recommended and regularly service gas appliances and fireplaces.
Filing a NY carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit
Were you unknowingly exposed to carbon monoxide or another form of toxic exposure? If you’re suffering the aftermath of exposure to a harmful toxin, such as carbon monoxide, it’s important to consult with an experienced NY premises liability lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages ─ as well as non-economic losses.
The skilled New York toxic exposure lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are here to provide complimentary legal advice to anyone who believes they have grounds for pursuing a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit in NY.
Call 1-800-469-7429 to schedule your free consultation today and let us start fighting for your rights.