BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Days after carbon monoxide sickened guests and workers at a hotel near BWI, attorneys filed a class action lawsuit in the case.
Derek Valcourt has more on the lawsuit and new details on what may have been the source of the carbon monoxide.
The suit contends problems with equipment in the hotel’s laundry room may have sickened as many as 400 people.
When firefighters evacuated the Westin Hotel near BWI Sunday, they found dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide on every floor, including the third floor where Merlitha McKisset spent the weekend. She says she started feeling flu-like symptoms Saturday morning after sleeping soundly Friday night.
“I felt like I had weights on my legs. It felt like I was just dragging,” she said. “And still my eyes right now is still having trouble with burning and the headache has never gone away. I still don’t feel like I’m quite up to par. I feel like I have the flu almost.”
McKisset checked out of the hotel Sunday before firefighters arrived and took herself to a hospital. At least nine others had to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to the class action suit, the source of that carbon monoxide was a water heater that wasn’t properly venting to the outside.
“Once it started in the laundry room, it went throughout the whole hotel,” said attorney Don Discepolo.
Attorney Don Discepolo filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of McKisset and other Westin guests that weekend, faulting the hotel for negligence.
“When they offer a room to rent, they have a duty to make sure that the hotel is safe. In this situation, we believe they breached that duty because they weren’t taking care of the venting system in the laundry,” Discepolo said.
For now, 58-year-old McKisset is among those counting her blessings and asking questions.
“We all could have been dead. Nothing but the grace of God,” McKisset said.
WJZ is still awaiting a response from Westin regarding the lawsuit but they have previously issued statements apologizing to the affected guests and saying they would be looking into the cause of the problem and how to ensure that it didn’t happen again.
Every guest of the hotel that weekend will be contacted and could become a part of the class action suit, which could take two to three years to wind its way through the court system.
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