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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning at Hotel

Carbon monoxide appears to be to blame for the death of a teenage boy and the hospitalization of 14 other hotel guests in a town in southern Michigan recently.

According to Lakeland Hospital spokeswoman Jessica Hines, one of the 15 people was confirmed dead on arrival – it was 13 year old Bryan Douglas Watts of Niles.

Of the other 14 guests taken to the hospital, five were children found unconscious beside Watts at the Quality Inn & Suites Pool when police arrived around 10 am on a Saturday morning in early April. They ranged in age from 12 to 14, according to Niles police. Eight of the victims were released or reported in good condition by the following day.

Five first responder also needed treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning, but were released from the hospital shortly after.

Elevated Carbon Monoxide Levels Led to Medical Emergencies

According to police, carbon monoxide levels were 800 parts per million when they arrived at the hotel. A “healthy” level of carbon monoxide is 35 parts per million within a one-hour timeframe. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, and can only be identified through a detection system. It is a byproduct of fuel production, and when too much is inhaled, it replaces oxygen in red blood cells, causing tissue damage or death.

Niles Fire Department Captain Don Wise blamed a faulty pool heater for the problem, stating “”The ventilation system on the heater had issues. The exhaust was not functioning properly. Our mechanical inspector verified that. The hotel is shut down now until repairs are made.”

There were reportedly no carbon monoxide detectors in the hotel’s pool room.

Choice Hotels, owner of the Quality Inn & Suites brand, released a statement foll

Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide is called the “Invisible Killer” because it’s colorless and odorless, but very deadly.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 150 people in the country die each year from accidental non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning associated with consumer products. Products that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning include fuel-burning:

  • Furnaces
  • Stoves
  • Water heaters and pool heaters, as was the case at Quality Inn & Suites
  • Any time any of these items is faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented it puts people in the area at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hotels and other service establishments are responsible for the safety of guests. It doesn’t matter whether injuries or death by carbon monoxide poisoning was caused by a faulty product, an improperly used or maintained product, or for any other reason, the establishment must do everything it can to protect its patrons.

Heavens Law has represented clients throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding area who were injured or lost loved ones due to the carelessness of a commercial establishment. Our team of personal injury attorneys will review the details of your case and explain your options. Should you choose to take action, we can assist you in conducting a full investigation to identify all culpable parties

If you or a loved one was injured or made ill because of carbon monoxide poisoning or any act of negligence, we can help. Contact us at 888-897-5377 for more information.