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.








The El Cortez Hotel in Reno had its second carbon monoxide leak in three weeks, according to KOLO.

On Saturday visitors were evacuated from the hotel after a carbon monoxide detector sounded an alert. Several local fire department engines responded to the scene, KOLO said. The visitors were later allowed to return to the El Cortez. No one was hospitalized.

Authorities believe that a water heater was the source of the deadly gas, KOLO reported. The hotel was without hot water for some time, which forced a ground floor restaurant to be closed.

On May 11 the El Cortez had a similar carbon monoxide leak. In that incident, 12 people were hospitalized.





A Reno, Nev., hotel was evacuated Saturday after several guests got ill from carbon monoxide, according to KTVN-TV.

The Reno Fire Department was called to the El Cortez Hotel after guests said they felt sick around 3:30 p.m., the TV station reported. The respondents detected high levels of carbon monoxide at the hotel, and evacuated it as well as the businesses on its first floor.

According to KTVN, the potentially lethal gas came from two malfunctioning water heaters. Although guests were allowed to return to the El Cortez, they didn’t have hot water overnight.

A carbon monoxide leak from a pool heater resulted in five Hampton Inn guests in Arkansas being hospitalized Monday night, and the entire hotel being evacuated, according to the Siloam Springs Daily Leader.

The incident happened at the inn on U.S. 421 in Siloam Springs, with the first report of carbon monoxide poisoning coming about 8:30 p.m. Monday from a 54-year-old man who felt sick, “dizzy” with a “rapid heart  beat,” the Daily Leader reported.

Another hotel occupant reported the same symptoms two hours later, and EMTs contacted the local gas company, which found the leak from the pool heater.

Five people were taken to Siloam Springs Regional Hospital for treatment. One of the victims was apparently unconscious in his room, and EMTs had to force their way in to get him out, according to the Daily Leader.

Just over 30 people were evacuated from the hotel, with 25 guests sent to a Best Western in West Siloam Springs, Okla., the Daily Leader reported. The Hampton Inn reopened at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.