Portable electric generator kills one and three others poisoned in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Carbon monoxide from another portable electric generator kills again. This time the tragedy was in Kingsport, Tennessee where Denver Strickler was killed. Three other people from his household were hospitalized after carbon monoxide fumes from a portable electric generator invaded their household. This repetitive tragedy happened on May 12, 2017, only a 30 miles down the road from the place where two others died in a similar incident two weeks prior. See http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/law-enforcement/2017/04/27/Father-and-son-dead-from-Carter-County-carbon-monoxide-poisoning.html?ci=content&lp=2&p=1 Both fatal portable electric generator incidents occurred in an area of Tennessee east of Knoxville, south of the Virginia state line.

Portable Electric Generators kill three people in two separate incidents in north east Tennessee in two weeks. The site of the two fatal incidents are only 30 miles apart.

Mr. Strickler was 45. According to his obituary he was survived by three children and a grandmother. See http://trinitymemorialcenters.com/obituaries/denver-strickler/ Three other residents of the Strickler home were hospitalized at Holston Valley Hospital. While the police report states that the other residents were taken to the hospital for observation, they are also likely to have significant problems from the carbon monoxide poisoning.  The ambient air levels that it would take to kill someone from carbon monoxide are likely to leave survivors of the same incident with serious long term health consequences. For more on the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, click here: http://carbonmonoxide.com

From the Kingsport Police Report:

Upon our arrival, we spoke to KFD personnel. They advised that the residents were running a gasoline powered generator in the basement of the home. The generator was the house’s sole means of electricity. Someone sat the generator next to a vent in the basement, and they had a small fan near it to blow the exhaust out of the vent. However, the fumes failed to exit, and made the occupants sick.

Before you blame the victims, understand that this is likely single most foreseeable deadly misuse of a product in our marketplace. And the portable electric generator manufacturers and their trade association knows this.  The time has come for these portable electric generator deaths to stop. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has been trying to cajole and recently force the portable generator manufacturers to stop this mayhem. To date, the CPSC has been unsuccessful and the death machines are still being manufactured. In the fall of 2016, the CPSC issued a Proposed Rule to require these manufacturers to make their generators safe, but all but one of the major manufacturers has been denying, delaying and disputing the need for greater safety.

Under product liability law, both on negligence and strict liability grounds, the manufacturers and retailers who sell these portable electric generators need to be held accountable. One of the elements to a successful products liability claim is the importance of showing to the jury that the manufacturers were aware of “other similar incidents.” This element is so important that such prior tragedies are abbreviated as OSI’s. Are there OSI’s for portable generator carbon monoxide deaths? Thousands of them. In 2016, the CPSC published the results of ten years of surveillance on these generators. They found that the there were more than 750 deaths and 25,000 hospitalizations from OSI’s with portable electric generators in the ten years before they published the proposed rule.

I was asked by the CPSC to speak at their public hearing on this proposed rule in February.

My testimony is above and can be found in full at our youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPuhPbzzBNvp_tPom-XmRNQ  What I said there applies in the Kingsport case, the Carter County case, the carbon monoxide poisoning related deaths and injuries that occur over this summer weekend, like they do almost every week, every year.

And as I finish this blog, I learn about two more portable electric generator deaths in Minnesota. SMH.

In this video, when I said “there is a lot of talk here that now we are going to do this and now we are going to do that”, I was talking about the portable electric generator manufacturers. They have a trade association called the PGMA, for Portable Generators Manufacturer’s Association with one of its primary purposes seems to be to lobby against the CPSC’s proposed rule.  Until the generator manufacturers stop making these death machines, this story will get retold almost every week. We will keep telling those stories and we are ready to do our part to stop this carnage by suing the manufacturers. Something must be done now.

Come back and read us again. We will continue to lay forth the facts that about how the portable electric generator manufacturers keep downplaying these deaths and how the retailers of these death machines, don’t seem to want to know how dangerous the product they sell is. Portable electric generators will continue to kill until injured parties and/or those who survive force them to stop. Force them to stop in a court of law.

Attorney Gordon Johnson



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