In Massachusetts, three children and three adults were taken to Boston-area hospitals for evaluation after a heating malfunction at their Dorchester apartment building released carbon monoxide into their rooms. The sound of carbon monoxide detectors going off prompted a fast evacuation of the premise.
The CO levels at the building was close to 10 times greater than what is considered safe. Clifford Long, who owns the property, says that a chimney that was partially blocked caused CO that was in the heating system’s exhaust to enter into the building.
The six patients displayed elevated carbon monoxide levels. Their symptoms included weakness, dizziness, and nausea.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
CO poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning death. Just a few minutes exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can result in deaths. Because carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, it can be hard to know when a person has been exposed to it.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are frequently mistaken for food poisoning or the flu, and CO can exacerbate the condition of someone who already has heart problems or respiratory illnesses. The elderly, infants, and fetuses are especially sensitive to the effects of carbon monoxide.
Premise owners and property managers are supposed to make sure that all devices on a premise that could emit CO are properly maintained and taken care of so that people do not becoming the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. Failure to exercise this duty of care can be grounds for a Massachusetts premises liability lawsuit.
Fireplaces, water heaters, wooden stoves, gas stoves, furnaces, kerosene heaters, and blocked chimneys are just some of the devices that can end up leaking CO by accident, and the manufacturers of these products must make sure that there are no defects that can lead to CO poisoning. Injuries or death could lead to a products liability or wrongful death claim.
Carbon monoxide sends six to hospitals, Boston.com, December 17, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Carbon Monoxide Safety, Mass.gov
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, CDC
If you or someone you love suffered injuries because of exposure to carbon monoxide, contact our Boston personal injury lawyers about your case.