The family of an 18-year-old marine is suing a water heater manufacturer, a plumbing company. and the owners of an Idaho apartment building for his wrongful death. McQuen Forbush died from carbon monoxide poisoning last year from a leak they believe was caused by the allegedly faulty product. His girlfriend also experienced CO poisoning. Paramedics who responded to her 911 call found that Forbush was already dead.
Carbon Monoxide Deaths
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 500 people in this country die every year from CO poisoning. Close to 170 of these fatalities involved consumer products. Some 15,000 other people a year will end up in the hospital for CO poisoning injuries.
Known as the “Silent Killer,” CO has no taste, smell, or color and many people don’t even realize that they’ve been exposed. Someone suffering from CO may even mistake the symptoms—nausea, headaches, fatigue—for the flu, which means that help may not be sought until it is too late (or if at all). Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can lead to chest pain, confusion, dizziness, unconsciousness, impaired coordination, neurological problems, cardiovascular issues, and even death.
At The Gilbert Law Group®, our products liability lawyers represent victims and families that have lost loved ones to CO poisoning. Defective and faulty products are among the most common sources of carbon monoxide leaks. Examples of such products include:
• Boat engines
• Gas water heaters
• Charcoal grills
• Kerosene space heaters
• Wood stoves
Improper installation, product defects, poor ventilation, and inadequate maintenance are just some of the reasons that carbon monoxide leaks can happen.
Possible parties that could be held liable for CO poisoning may include the product manufacturer, the owner of the property where the CO leak happened, a negligent maintenance company, and/or others. If a CO detector did not go off to warn that the level of carbon monoxide in the air had risen to worrying levels, you may also have reason to pursue a claim against the manufacturer of that device.
You want to work with a carbon monoxide law firm that knows how to prove that a product-related defect caused the CO poisoning incident. You also want to make sure that the product defects lawyers you select are fully aware of the costs and toll living with impairment from carbon monoxide poisoning or the death of a loved one can have on you and your loved ones.
Meantime, here are some protective measures that you can take to minimize the chances of a carbon monoxide leak on your property:
• Make sure that your water heater, heating system, and oil/gas/coal
burning appliances are inspected yearly.
• Make sure you have a working CO detector in the house. If it goes off, leave the premises right away and contact 911.
• Get medical help right away if you suspect you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide.
• Don’t run your vehicle in an attached garage even if the door is open.
• Make sure that the stove is vented.
• Don’t use a gas oven to heat your home.