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Wrongful death suits may soon follow criminal charges

Unfortunately, there are instances where the nature and severity of a Long Beach, California, premises accident are so extreme that they may warrant both civil and criminal charges. In the case of serious injury, illness or death caused by the negligence or recklessness of a property manager or owner, blame may be assigned. Two separate parties may have cause to file wrongful death lawsuits against one hotel executive currently facing criminal charges for his alleged involvement in four cases of carbon monoxide poisoning at a hotel last year.

One woman was seriously injured and three other individuals died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in one room at a North Carolina Best Western hotel room. The first incident happened in April 2012, when a Washington couple died on the second night of their visit to the hotel. It wasn’t until two months later that authorities confirmed the couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning. A mother and her 11-year-old son stayed in the same hotel room only days after the medical findings of the previous incident were confirmed, and both suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning as well. The mother sustained serious injuries and the son died.

A subsequent investigation revealed that both fatal carbon monoxide poisoning incidents were caused by a leak in the exhaust pipe of the hotel’s swimming pool water heater, which was found to be improperly converted to a natural gas unit.

For his alleged involvement in the faulty maintenance and conversion of the pool water heater system, the executive responsible for managing the hotel now faces criminal accusations of assault and involuntary manslaughter. Even if the defendant in the criminal case is not found guilty, the families of the four carbon monoxide victims may file wrongful death lawsuits against him and several other parties involved in the case.

Source: heraldonline.com, “NC hotel executive charged after Rock Hill boy, 2 others died,” Elizabeth Leland, Gavin Off, Rick Rothacker, Jan. 8, 2014

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