Source: http://www.mdcoastdispatch.com, April 17, 2009
By: Shawn J. Soper
Less than one week after the settlement of a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit filed last year by the family of two Pennsylvania tourists who died of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in a Boardwalk motel room in 2006, five separate plaintiffs inflicted with CO poisoning in adjacent rooms during the same incident filed suit in U.S. District Court.
On March 27, the case filed in U.S. District Court by the family of two victims who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the Days Inn Oceanfront on the Boardwalk at 22nd Street was settled before reaching trial for an undisclosed amount. The 24-count federal suit was seeking $30 million from the various defendants including the Bay Shore Development Corporation, owner of the motel where the tragic incident occurred; Heat Transfer Products, Inc., the manufacturer of the faulty water heater deemed as the source of the CO leak; R.E. Michel Co. Inc., the Glen Burnie-based company that distributed the water heater; and All About Plumbing, the local company that purchased and installed the water heater in the Boardwalk hotel months before the incident.
Six days later on April 2, a total of 10 new plaintiffs filed suit in U.S. District Court naming the same defendants in the original case along with several others including parent companies and subsidiaries of motel’s ownership. Five of the plaintiffs were in the two of the rooms on the first floor of the motel and suffered directly from CO poisoning and were later hospitalized. The other five plaintiffs were either husbands or parents, or both, of the five victims and were indirectly affected by the incident.
The new suit includes 35 total counts, including premises liability charges against Bay Shore Corporation, Avis Budget Group, Wyndam Worldwide Corporation, and Days Inn Worldwide, Inc. Each of the five plaintiffs who suffered from CO is seeking $5 million collectively from the aforementioned defendants.
However, most of the counts listed in the suit are filed against the other defendants who allegedly had a hand, directly or indirectly, with the installation of the faulty water heater blamed for the tragedy. For example, each of the five victims is seeking $5 million collectively from the defendants on several counts including negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and strict liability for a total amount sought of $25 million on each of the four counts.
Each of the husbands of the adult women afflicted with CO poisoning is seeking an additional $1 million for loss of consortium. The parents of the two teenage girls allegedly poisoned with CO are also seeking $100,000 each for medical bills for their children.