A woman died from a carbon monoxide leak after officials said a bathroom water heater malfunctioned. According to a report in the Daily Voice, the woman was found Jan. 26 inside her Queens apartment after she passed out. She was rushed to a local hospital, but could not be saved. Other residents of the Flushing apartment building were temporarily evaluated and firefighters vented the gas from the apartment.
Con Edison said the leak was traced to a water heater inside the bathroom, which had malfunctioned. New York Fire Department officials said the apartment had both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, but they were not working. The reason why the appliance malfunctioned is not known. We offer our deepest condolences to the family of this victim for their tragic loss.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane or other types of fuel. When appliances are not properly ventilated particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, they may allow the gas to reach dangerous levels. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when it accumulates in the victim’s bloodstream. When there is too much of the gas in the air, the body replaces the oxygen in red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This can lead to serious tissue damage or even death. Smoke inhalation during a fire can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Some of the common symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision and even loss of consciousness. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also be dangerous for individuals who are sleeping. People may suffer irreversible brain damage or die before anyone even realizes there is a problem.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Landlords or property owners/managers in New York City have the responsibility under city laws to provide and install at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm within each dwelling unit. The alarms must be installed within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each bedroom. This applies to all multiple dwelling and one- and two-family homes.
Landlords (building owners) are also required to provide written information regarding the testing and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms including general information about CO poisoning and what to do if a carbon monoxide alarm goes off to at least one adult in each unit. The CO alarms should not only be installed, but be in good working order. They must be frequently inspected and maintained, and replaced if not functioning or broken.
Property owners and managers have a legal obligation to ensure that their buildings have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms that are in good working condition. The property owner/manager can be held accountable for injuries and deaths, particularly if negligence (carelessness) played a part. Plaintiffs (injured party) in such cases can file what is known as a premises liability claim, seeking damages.
Landlords (building owners) also have a responsibility to maintain appliances and equipment in good working order. This means appliances need to be regularly inspected and maintained. When failure to maintain appliances causes an accident and injuries, property owners and/or managers can be held liable. In some cases, if a maintenance company was tasked with the job, they may be held accountable as well. When an appliance is defective or contains a faulty part and malfunctions, the product manufacturer can also be held liable.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire or due to carbon monoxide poisoning, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our firm obtained a $985,000 settlement out of a $1 million policy for two people who suffered smoke inhalation injuries because the homeowner did not have smoke detectors installed and the $15,000 that was left on the insurance policy was for a person that we did not represent. One of our clients recovered $2,500,000 due to a faulty space heater. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com