By Attorney Gordon Johnson

Call me at 800-992-9447

NBC News Tuesday did a report about the carbon monoxide case that I just blogged about: three deaths that took place in the same room in a Best Western hotel in Boone, N.C.

The point of the report, and it’s one I should have made, is that when you are traveling this summer and staying at hotels and motels, beware!

The case in point involved the death of an 11-year-old boy, Jeffrey Williams, of asphyxiation, at the hotel this weekend. There was carbon monoxide in the room.

In April, an elderly man and his wife — Daryl Jenkins, 73, and Shirley Jenkins, 72, of Washington State — had been found dead in the same hotel room. Toxicology reports had been pending on the cause of their deaths, and yet the Best Western still took the chance of renting out the room where they perished — and where Williams later perished.

As it turned out, the test results came back, and the couple died of asphyxia due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The room where both Williams and the Jenkins stayed was above space where there is a natural gas heater for an indoor pool.

So be warned. While hotels under state law typically have to install smoke detectors, very few states mandate that hotels install carbon monoxide detectors.

So when you check into a hotel, ask if they have CO alarms. If not, NBC News advises you to keep a window open in your room.








Two guests were hospitalized Friday night after a carbon monoxide leak at a Lancaster, Pa., hotel, according to Fox 43.

The incident happened at the Heritage Hotel on Centerville Road. The hotel was evacuated after two guests got sick and had the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, Fox 43 said.

The two ill guests were brought to a local hospital for treatment, and then were released.

Firefighters who responded to the scene detected high carbon monoxide levels, which they found came from a malfunctioning boiler, on the second and third floors of the hotel, Fox 43 reported.

The hotel’s owner issued a statement, according to the TV station.

“The safety of our guests and our staff is our No. 1 priority,” Matt DeRose, president of Heritage Hotel Lancaster & Heritage Hospitality, said in a statement. “As you can imagine this news came as a shock. We have been working around the clock on this matter.”‘


A carbon monoxide leak at a Birmingham, Ala., hotel sent 15 guests to the hospital for treatment Friday, according to WIAT-TV.

The incident happened at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Country Club at about 6:30 a.m. Firefighters were called to the scene when one of the hotel guests was found unconscious and was revived after being administered oxygen, the TV station reported.

When the emergency responders arrived they found another 10 guests had symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, including headaches and feeling sick to their stomachs.

Along with those 11 guests, a family with four people that came down with flu-like symptoms were advised to seek medical treatment, which they did.

According to WIAT-TV, authorities suspect that the source of the carbon monoxide was a faulty heating unit that had bad ducts.

Laurie Pendergast is taking action to ensure that her brother’s death wasn’t in vain.

The Rhode Island woman is pushing for legislation across many states to mandate that hotels have carbon monoxide detectors, according to a story posted online by the TV station WPRI.

Pendergast’s brother, Bill Moran, earlier this year died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a Holiday Inn Express hotel in South Charleston, W. Va.

Moran’s death prompted West Virginia’s state Senate to quickly introduce a bill that makes it mandatory for hotels, motels, dorms and nursing homes to install carbon monoxide detectors, according to WPRI.

The bill was introduced roughly one month from the day when Moran died.

Pendergast told WPRI that she wants other states to pass a similar law, and that she plans to go to West Virginia to see its hotel carbon monoxide detector bill signed into law.