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Dozens Injured After Being Exposed to Carbon Monoxide

Emergency officials in Ogunquit, Maine were dispatched to a local resort after reports of high levels of carbon monoxide and guests becoming ill.

More than twenty people were affected by exposure to carbon monoxide, suffering illness including vomiting, headaches, nausea and dizziness. York Fire Chief Mark O’Brien said that more than a dozen were evacuated and 7 people were admitted at an area hospital for treatment. All were listed in stable condition. O’Brien said that carbon monoxide readings in the resort’s basement read 10 times the normal level, and the building did not have carbon monoxide detectors present.

Fortunately all of the guests involved in this incident were not seriously injured, however this is the second carbon monoxide-related incident to occur in the Northeast in less than a week. Last week, a restaurant manager at a Long Island Legal Seafood was found unconscious when carbon monoxide leaked into the building. Twenty-seven other people were taken to an area hospital for carbon monoxide exposure. According to an initial investigation by N.Y. fire marshal Terence McNally, there had been defective heating equipment in the building–specifically a flu pipe from one of the water heaters that had failed. The restaurant also did not have a carbon monoxide detector. Under N.Y. law, only places where people sleep are required to have carbon monoxide detectors.

Though these incidents occurred outside of Massachusetts, they exemplify the dangers posed to guests when building codes are violated. A building code is essentially the rules for keeping buildings and other structures minimally safe. Building inspectors are responsible for making sure buildings adhere to these codes to ensure that they are sound and properly constructed, have adequate means of exit in the event of a fire, and are otherwise sufficiently safe and sanitary.

Building codes are adopted for a reason, and often people are injured when the building code is not observed. In Massachusetts, a violation of the building code will be evidence of a property owner’s negligence as long as the violation contributed in some way to causing the injury. In the situations discussed above, it was the buildings’ owners to ensure that functioning carbon monoxide detectors were installed. Because of this negligence, innocent guests became ill, and a man lost his life.

The most common types of building code violations include:

• Sprinkler systems and fire escape • Elevators • Structural defects • Emergency lighting systems • Exit signs • Exterior locks • Gas fitting • Electrical wiring
At the law offices of Altman & Altman, our team of experienced Massachusetts Premises Liability Attorneys have decades of experience and knowledge to help clients obtain proper compensation for injuries they’ve sustained as the result of a property owner’s negligence. If you or a loved one was recently injured and believe your injury was the result of a property owner’s negligence, do not think twice to call our office to discuss your rights and your options for filing a premises liability claim. All initial consultations are completely free of charge. We are available around the clock to assist you with any questions you may have about your case, and we work on a contingency basis; that is: we take no fee unless successful.