Recent Deaths Lead to Carbon Monoxide Regulation For North Carolina Hotels :: Personal Injury Attorneys and Lawyers in Charlotte, NC

Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What exactly is a wrongful death claim?”

All hotels in North Carolina will now have to install carbon monoxide detectors in every room. The law is one of many new measures that officially go into effect on October 1st.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Charlotte North Carolina Personal Injury Wrongful Death Attorney Lawyer.jpgThe new legislation is long overdue and sadly only passed after a tragic episode earlier this year at a Boone, NC hotel left several people dead. Investigators say that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty indoor pool heater spread down a hall and into a room where three people were staying at the Best Western.

Investigators determined that the carbon monoxide leak led to the deaths of a couple from Washington state on April 16th as well as to the June 8th death of an 11-year-old boy from Rock Hill. The latter incident not only resulted in the death of the 11-year-old, but also in severe injuries to the boy’s mother who is still recovering from the carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as a silent killer, given that the gas is odorless and colorless and can cause serious illness or death in a matter of minutes. It is emitted from cars and other fuel-burning machines or appliances. A survey by the state revealed that carbon monoxide has killed some 400 people in North Carolina since 2001, 39 of whom were here in Mecklenburg County. The overwhelming majority of these deaths were accidental and were often caused by ordinary appliances such as grills or cars left running inside garages.

Not only do such accidents happen at home, but there have also been several occasions where hotel guests have been injured due to carbon monoxide leaks. Beyond the two incidents in Boone, another case out of Winston-Salem from earlier this year left two Charlotte residents severely ill after carbon monoxide poisoning in their hotel room. Back in 2008, eight guests at the Super 8 Motel in Raleigh were injured due carbon monoxide that came from a leaky water heater.

The new carbon monoxide detectors will now be required in every enclosed space with a fuel-burning appliance or in any room that shares a wall, floor or ceiling with one that does. The hope is that the measure will protect other innocent travelers from the horror that was suffered by those involved in the Best Western cases. Experts believe that if the law had been in place at the time, the three lives would likely have been spared.

The legislator who supported the measure, Rep. Becky Carney, says that it was important for visitors to North Carolina to feel safe staying the night in the state and the hope is that the measure would increase the feeling of safety for everyone. Currently, 27 states (including North Carolina) require carbon monoxide alarms be installed in new homes. However, these laws rarely extend to cover motel rooms. North Carolina joins a small group of states, including neighboring South Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and Vermont that will require the hotels to install the detectors.

If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys and lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828.

About the Author:

ARNOLD&SMITH_243 3.jpgMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on Personal Injury, Family Law and Business Litigation. Mr. Arnold began his career handling insurance defense litigation for several major insurance companies. He also went on to handle business litigation cases and high value mortgage fraud cases, primarily in Superior Court.

Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.


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