The dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning became very real last weekend when some 200 people were evacuated from a Best Western Plus Hotel in Dunmore. According to Christopher DeNaples, the Dunmore Fire Chief, the carbon monoxide leak was discovered in a furnace, though they are not sure of its cause. Initial investigations indicate that a faulty pool heater wasn’t properly vented.
After the deadly, odorless gas leaked through the Lackawanna County hotel, 200 people were evacuated from the premises and 30 others were sent to Geisinger Community Medical Center to be examined for possible CO inhalation. Five people were later transferred to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Scranton’s Regional Hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide exposure. At least one victim remained in the hospital overnight, before being released.
CO leak in Dunmore Best Western hotel
Inspectors on the scene combed each floor of the hotel, looking for the source of the leak. What they found were several safety violations, including electrical problems, and a lack of functioning carbon monoxide detectors. Officials say that because of the sheer size of the hotel, it may have taken some days for the potentially fatal gas to build up.
The acting manager for the hotel says they are committed to fixing the safety violations and opening their doors to the public as soon as possible. A sign posted on the Best Western door last Monday said the hotel would be closed for 72 hours, though officials suspect it will take staff much longer to address safety issues.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Though it is odorless, tasteless and colorless, carbon monoxide is highly toxic to humans. The gas deprives the brain, heart and other crucial organs of much-needed oxygen when inhaled. When exposed to large amounts of gas, one can be lose consciousness and suffocate in mere minutes.
Usual symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- A tightness in the chest
- Sudden fatigue
In the wake of this recent incident, the New Jersey toxic exposure lawyers of Eisbrouch Marsh are offering free legal consultations to those who were evacuated or hospitalized following the CO leak. If it is found that the hotel owners or managing operators acted in negligence by failing to install working carbon monoxide detectors or failing to address other safety violations, victims may have a viable claim for financial compensation.
Keep in mind that statutes of limitations govern the time frame in which litigation can be filed, so it’s imperative to retain legal counsel as soon as possible, or you may forfeit your right to seeking legal compensation.
Filing a NJ carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit
For more than 25 years, the New York and New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Eisbrouch Marsh have been advocating for victims of toxic exposure. If you or a loved one has suffered the effects of negligent property maintenance that resulted in harm or death, you are encouraged to call us today for a no-obligation evaluation of your case. Our attorneys can advise you if litigation is warranted, and fight to recover compensation to help pay for medical costs, lost income and other damages.
To learn more about filing a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit in New Jersey, call us today at 201-342-5545, or simply complete the contact form to the right of your screen.
- PA Home Page, Dunmore Hotel Remains Closed After Carbon Monoxide Leak http://www.pahomepage.com/story/d/story/dunmore-hotel-remains-closed-after-carbon-monoxide/26054/18R1VPjio0qtjrfZH-39cg
- The Times Tribune, CO leak closes Dunmore hotel after evacuation http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/co-leak-closes-dunmore-hotel-after-evacuation-1.1741081
- OSHA, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/carbonmonoxide-factsheet.pdf