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Over 20 people hospitalized over the weekend in Bridgeport, Connecticut for carbon monoxide poisoning. How to keep your home safe.

On the heels of over a dozen Miami condo residents being taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide injuries after a gas leak in the building, residents in Bridgeport, Connecticut suffered through a similar ordeal. 

Firefighters and other emergency personnel were called out to the building housing several families and other individuals just around 3 a.m. Saturday after one of the building’s tenants called 911 explaining that they felt sick, according to local reporting. A recent bus fire nearby had cut off power to the building for days and firefighters told local news outlets that they found a generator running in the building’s basement, causing the gas to build up. These appliances are never to be used in enclosed spaces as they release carbon monoxide into the air. 

There were no carbon monoxide detectors in the building at the time, meaning that the outcome for the families and tenants living there could easily have been very different had that first person feeling ill not called for emergency services, Bridgeport Fire Inspector Robert Lopez told reporters. 

Leesfield & Partners

About 5 million people visit the historic Florida Keys every year for its natural beauty, beaches and marine life. None of those 5 million people expect a tragic accident to take place while they’re there, but a look back at Leesfield & Partners’ past case results will show you that the incidents are not entirely uncommon. 

For one Iowa family staying at a hotel in the Florida Keys, a nightmare unfolded as they slept soundly in their room. What they didn’t know was that a damaged boiler room roof vent was leaking carbon monoxide gas, a practically undetectable gas that can be fatal if breathed in in large amounts, into their room. Luckily for the family, who later sought the representation of Leesfield & Partners in a lawsuit against the hotel, they were able to wake up and call for emergency services. Despite the incident with the family, the hotel still rented out the room to other guests, this time a father and son who were also rushed to the hospital after the gas continued to leak into their room.

Attorneys were able to show that the hotel failed to address the damage to the vent caused by Hurricane Wilma by not bringing in a licensed technician who could have repaired it. This case caught the attention of national news outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. Senate Bill 1822 was inspired in part because of this instance and other cases of injuries due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the state. Leesfield & Partners Founder and Managing Partner Ira Leesfield fought for the passage of the bill, putting the firm on the map as one of the leading carbon monoxide personal injury law firms in the country with numerous other cases to show for it. The bill  was eventually passed in 2007 and now outlines requirements for carbon monoxide detectors and other regulations pertaining to public lodgings. 

In May, Ira Leesfield and Trial Lawyer Evan Robinson published an article in Trial Magazine discussing the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to build a claim for court.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t just a subtle threat; it’s the second most common cause of non-medicinal poisoning death,” the attorneys said in the article. 

Numbers from the Center for Disease Control show that over 400 people die annually involving carbon monoxide poisoning. In 2022, the death toll had reached 1,244. About 624 of the deaths for that year were accidental while 511 of those deaths involved carbon monoxide but the gas was not listed as the official cause of death.

Safety Tips

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home. 
  • Appliances such as dryers, water heaters, and gas stoves should be inspected by a professional annually. 
    • Some of the things to check for include: ensuring the appliances are properly vented and are free from rust or corrosion. 
  • In South Florida, where hurricanes have been known to leave entire blocks without power for weeks on end, homeowners should make sure not to use their portable generators in enclosed spaces like a garage. All portable generators should be used in well-ventilated areas and be kept away from doors, windows and vents. 
  • Keep air ducts and ventilators clean and unobstructed to maintain proper ventilation.
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