A Maryland wrongful death settlement has been reached between a woman whose husband and 10-year-old daughter died after being exposed to CO and the Bay Shore Development Corp, Heat Transfer Products, R.E. Michel Co., and All About Plumbing. Yvonne Boughtner’s carbon monoxide lawsuit had sought $30 million in damages.
In 2006, Yvonne was on vacation with her husband Patrick, 30 and their daughters Kelly, 10, and Morgan when carbon monoxide started leaking from a disconnected water heater pipe at the at the Days Inn Hotel in Ocean City. Patrick and Kelly died in the hotel room, while Yvonne and Morgan were transported to Baltimore where they were admitted to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
A fire marshal report noted that the heater right under the family’s room was leaking CO. The heater was reportedly only meant for residential use and not for commercial use.
Yvonne’s first 911 call reportedly garnered a delayed response by emergency officials because they got her call confused with another call made from the hotel by another family. She called them again four hours later, but by the time the emergency team got there her daughter and husband were no longer alive. According to Ocean City, the emergency responders did nothing wrong.
Yvonne filed her Maryland wrongful death lawsuit in February 2008. Since then, the defendants have filed a number of counter-claims blaming each other for the deadly accident. The terms of the out-of-court settlement with Yvonne are confidential.
According to a local government Web site, the health effects of exposure to carbon monoxide (depending on the degree of concentration) can include:
• Fatigue in people who are healthy
• Cheat pains in people suffering from heart disease
• Impaired vision
• Poor coordination
• Death, which can even occur if the person is exposed to concentrations under 1%.
Following the deaths of Patrick and Kelly, Maryland’s Ocean City now requires that new houses, hotels, and condos have carbon monoxide detectors.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured on another party’s premise because there was a hazardous toxin or another condition on the premise that could have and should have been remedied, you may have grounds for filing a Maryland premises liability claim or a wrongful death lawsuit.
Settlement reached in carbon monoxide suit, Delmarvanow.com, April 7, 2009
Hotel settles suit over Lebanon County pair’s deaths, PennLive.com, April 1, 2009
Quick Facts on Carbon Monoxide, EDC.gov.us