As news surfaced of yet another carbon monoxide poisoning at a Green Bay hotel, it shed light on the reluctance of the hotel industry to address a major safety concern. On December 30, 2011, as many as 16 people were hospitalized after being exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide while staying at the Green Bay Hilton Garden, 1015 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Green Bay Fire Department recently released their records that indicate four small children and several other people were suffering from common symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure, including vomiting, nausea and headaches.
The Green Bay Fire Department detected dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in several areas within the hotel, including the swimming pool area, the workout room, two restrooms and a stairway. Apparently the carbon monoxide level in the swimming pool area was a 800 parts per million (ppm) and 957 ppm in the pool equipment room. Buildings are typically evacuated at 9 ppm. Sustained exposure to carbon monoxide at levels as high as 800 ppm can be lethal. Carbon monoxide exposure can also result in severe long-term consequences, such as brain injury and heart problems. The Hilton Garden Inn general manager, Michelle Lang, has continued to remain silent as to how this could have happened to their guests.
The hotel industry has long recognized the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure, yet some hotel chains have failed to institute uniform policies requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors throughout their hotels. Ironically, exactly one year prior to the date of the Green Bay Hilton Inn carbon monoxide poisoning incident, our office joined forces with the Brain Injury Law Group to file suit on behalf of victims who were poisoned by carbon monoxide while staying at the Green Bay Day’s Inn back in May of 2009. Now 2 1/2 years later, it is apparent that some hotel chains have still done nothing to protect their guests from carbon monoxide exposure, like simply installing working carbon monoxide detectors. Under Wisconsin Safe Place Law, hotel owners are required to keep their hotels as “free from danger to the life, health, safety, and welfare of guests as the nature of the hotel will reasonably permit.” The failure to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout a hotel clearly violates this law and until the hotel industry gets this message loud and clear, hotel guests throughout the world will continue to get sick and even die from carbon monoxide poisoning.