Case Settled

Premises Liability | Attorneys: Chris Stevenson, W. Kent Winingham

Vacation Gone Wrong: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Gatlinburg

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Carbon monoxide (CO) at a rental cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, caused significant injuries to seven women visiting for a get-away weekend.

Chris Stevenson and Kent Winingham filed suit in Federal Court in Tennessee against the cabin owners, property manager, builder, plumber, HVAC company, and water heater manufacturer.

A tankless gas water heater was emitting high levels of CO, for which the fire department had been called to the cabin four prior times to address. The water heater was set to operate on natural gas; however, the cabin had liquid propane. The property manager called an HVAC company to correct the issue, who then failed to fix the problem with the water heater. While a CO detector had been in the cabin to alert the prior occupants of CO, the property manager took down the CO detector and replaced it with a regular smoke detector just prior to WKW’s clients’ arrival at the cabin.

As CO poisoning harms the body in multiple ways, Chris and Kent worked with a variety of damages experts to demonstrate exactly how their clients were injured by CO, including neuropsychologists, a neurologist, and a SPECT brain imaging expert. The case was settled a few days before the start of trial in Tennessee for a confidential amount as to the property owner, manager, and HVAC company. WKW obtained an additional judgment against the plumbing company for $2.7 million.

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