Several people were recently exposed to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide (CO) at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Romulus, Michigan. The hotel is near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Wayne County, which also includes the McNamara Terminal. The hotel is located at 8800 Wickham Road.
Many of the people exposed to the carbon monoxide were present at the hotel for Spirit Airlines work-related meetings. At approximately 9:30 a.m., Romulus Fire & Rescue came to the location based upon a number of people having similar health complaints and symptoms. A gas monitor was utilized and had high and unsafe readings of 400 parts per million in the conference room where attendees were located. A total of twelve patients were transported to hospitals in the area for evaluation and treatment.
The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning at the time of exposure are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Many people describe the symptoms as “flu-like.” Blood testing at a hospital is used to determine the level of carbon monoxide in a person’s body after a significant exposure.
For a person to begin feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, they would need to be exposed to a carbon monoxide level of 50 parts per million (PPM) for eight hours. At levels of 400 parts per million, a person would feel adverse effects after approximately only eight minutes.
The City of Romulus Department of Building & Safety investigated the Four Points Hotel to determine the source of the unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. It was determined the source was unsafe equipment on the premises. The equipment was tagged and the area was deemed “unsafe for human occupancy.” The hotel owner was required to have a licensed mechanical contractor make the necessary repairs and have them approved before the structure was determined “suitable for occupancy.”
Carbon monoxide poisoning has significant adverse neurological effects and many can be permanent in nature. These include nausea, headaches, dizziness, memory loss, vision problems, and other cognitive damage. The long-term outcome often depends on the level of exposure and the amount of time a person was exposed to the gas. Approximately 400 people die every year in the United States from carbon monoxide exposure and thousands of exposed people are hospitalized annually.
First, each has a claim for worker’s compensation benefits against his or her own employer. These benefits pay for lost wages and medical expenses related to the work-related conditions caused at the hotel. If the worker’s compensation insurance company disputes payments or refuses to pay benefits, it will be necessary to hire a worker’s compensation attorney.
Second, each has a claim for personal injuries against the hotel owner and management company suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. These claims allege that the property owner was negligent in the maintenance of the premises. This includes having equipment that was not properly inspected or maintained and results in a leak of toxic gases.
These claims demand money compensation for pain and suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, psychological damages, and mental anguish. When the effects of the poisoning are long-term, the compensation payout considers the lifetime damages and these cases often result in very significant settlements.
Our firm is representing several of the victims of the Four Points Sheraton carbon monoxide poisoning exposure. Those persons sickened by the unsafe levels of CO have several types of legal rights and recourse. It is important to hire a lawyer that specializes in carbon monoxide poisoning cases.