Carbon monoxide is also known as the “‘silent killer.” Its fumes are invisible and have no odor or taste, which can make it hard to know that you are being poisoned until it’s too late. Emitted by cars, furnaces, stoves and gas ranges, it can build up to dangerous levels very quickly. In high concentrations, it prevents red blood cells from supplying your body with oxygen, causing damage to your brain and nervous system and even leading to death.

Both building and plumbing codes contain several warnings about properly ventilating appliances and flushing carbon monoxide away from buildings, but despite these precautions, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention once estimated that 500 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, while 15,000 others receive emergency treatment for its devastating effects.

Symptoms of exposure to high carbon monoxide levels include:

  • Dull, pounding headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness and shortness of breath
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Those who survive a carbon monoxide poisoning incident can be left with permanent impairments that include but are not limited to:

  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive damage
  • Motor coordination difficulties
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Hearing loss
  • Cardiac damage
  • Parkinson’s-like symptoms

If the incident occurred in your home, a faulty appliance such as a stove, heater or other appliance may be to blame. When a gas leak is combined with poor ventilation (for example, windows shut during the cold season), it can go unnoticed and have fatal results. In this instance, it may be possible to hold the appliance manufacturer responsible for making an unsafe product available to the public.

If you experienced carbon monoxide poisoning on a property owned by someone else, such as a hotel, office building, or rental unit, you may be able to bring about a premises liability lawsuit. Property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment for anyone who uses or visits their premises, and if a gas leak causes injury or death, they can be held liable for gross negligence.

Other potential defendants include:

  • Landlords
  • Property builders
  • Repair companies
  • Maintenance providers

If you believe that the negligence of a product manufacturer or a property owner or group is responsible for your carbon monoxide poisoning incident, contact an experienced New York carbon monoxide attorney who can help you seek compensation for current and future medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering or, if a loved one died, loss of consortium, burial expenses, and more. Your attorney will protect your legal rights, carry out a thorough investigation of the circumstances that caused the poisoning, identify the parties responsible, and determine how best to seek compensation for your injury and/or losses. Jayson Lutzky is an experienced accident and personal injury