WHEELING – This week's fatal carbon monoxide poisoning at a South Charleston hotel isn't the first time the issue has been in the news in West Virginia.
Four individuals who claim they were poisoned with carbon monoxide while guests of a Comfort Inn in Triadelphia are suing Choice Hotels International for their injuries.
On Jan. 31, a number of people who were staying at the Holiday Inn Express in South Charleston were taken to the hospital to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
One man was found dead in his hotel room at the Holiday Inn Express after a gas pipe used to heat the hotel pool was found leaking carbon monoxide.
The Ohio County Comfort Inn lawsuits stem from a Dec. 6, 2009, hotel renovation in which construction crews put up tarps and operated portable, torpedo space heaters in order to continue working through the cold weather, according to two suits that were filed Dec. 2, 2011, and July 13, 2010, in Ohio Circuit Court.
Officials reported that this arrangement caused carbon monoxide to seep into and build up in guest rooms.
The plaintiffs include Ivan and Christine Liggett and Christopher E. and Judith E. Groff. They claim by 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 6, 2009, emergency crews responded to reports of people suffering nausea, shortness of breath and seizures in the hotel.
Firefighters reported the concentration of carbon monoxide to be at life threatening levels and several hotel patrons were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants' actions were negligent and caused them harm.
Gokul Inc. of West Virginia and Stucco & Masonry LLC were also named as defendants in the suit.
The Liggetts and Groffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Christopher J. Regan and J. Zachary Zatezalo of Bordas & Bordas
The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges James P. Mazzone and Martin J. Gaughan.
Ohio County Circuit Court case numbers: 10-C-243, 11-C-399