The Trial Lawyer Fall 2017 - Page 40

PRODUCTWATCH CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING CASES By C. Richard Newsome, Esq., Milette E. Webber, Esq., & William C. Ourand, Esq. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a major health problem in the United States, resulting in thousands of injuries — including permanent brain damage — and hundreds of deaths each year. Many, if not most of these injuries and deaths could be avoided by responsible industry behavior — including by using reasonable safeguards, like CO detectors, and by properly designing and manufacturing products to minimize the risk of harmful CO exposure. However, the industry has largely failed to act, and government “watchdogs” have done little to address the situation. As a result, CO injuries and deaths will continue, and the victims will need dedicated and persistent advocates to obtain the care and compensation required to put their lives back together. This article will examine and explain the CO poisoning phenomenon, will explore the most common causes of action, and will conclude by analyzing the many obstacles and complexities in bringing a CO case. 38 x The Trial Lawyer