Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
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Who’s at Risk?
The CDC reports that unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for over 400 deaths each year in the U.S., as well as more than 20,000 Emergency Room visits, and over 4,000 hospitalizations. Everyone is at risk of CO poisoning, but infants, elderly individuals, and those with anemia, heart disease, or breathing problems are more likely to become sick from exposure.
Because risks are ever-present, it’s important to take preventative measures, including:
- Regular maintenance, inspection, and servicing of HVAC / heating systems, water heaters, and other gas, oil, or charcoal burning appliances (at least once a year);
- Ensuring proper ventilation for gas appliance and equipment;
- Purchasing and using appliances approved by a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories;
- Annual inspections and cleanings of chimneys;
- Avoiding vent patches using tape, gum, and similar adhesives;
- Prohibiting the burning of charcoal indoors, the use of gas ranges for heating, and portage gas stoves indoors;
- Installing a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector.
Who’s Liable for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Victims of preventable injuries, as well as families who lose loved ones in preventable incidents, have the right to hold at-fault parties financially responsible for their damages – including their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
If you or someone you love has been harmed as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, determining who can be held liable for your damages requires a meticulous investigation of the facts and surrounding circumstances. Typically, it’s important to look at how parties with legal duties to keep others safe failed to do so – whether it’s not maintaining a property, designing a dangerous product, or violating regulations.
Because every case is different, it’s difficult to say who’s responsible for your injuries and losses. However, there are some common examples of potentially liable parties in CO poisoning cases. These include:
- Manufacturers of defective products, including defectively designed or manufactured appliances or consumer products, and products with inadequate warnings (product liability).
- Automakers and auto part manufacturers (including commercial truck manufacturers).
- Negligent landlords, property owners, or property management companies (premises liability).
- Repair companies or maintenance companies that negligently performed work, failed to identify CO leaks that could and should have been identified, or failed to meet their legal duties.
- Contractors, builders, and developers of residential and commercial buildings.
- Employers or third-party contractors / subcontractors on worksites (workplace accidents).
- Safety equipment manufacturers (i.e. manufacturers of defective PPE / respiratory masks).
Questions? Edwards Kirby is Here to Help.
Edwards Kirby is based in Raleigh, and proudly serves injured victims and families across North Carolina and beyond. If you have questions about a potential carbon monoxide poisoning claim, your rights, and how our team can guide you through the legal journey ahead, call (919) 897-7662 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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