Hotel Safety Expert Evaluates Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Caused by Water Heater

Kristin Casler

Written by
— Updated on January 10, 2022

Hotel Maintenance Expert The case involves guests exposed to carbon monoxide while staying at a hotel. The plaintiffs experienced loss of consciousness, bouts of diarrhea and vomiting while in their hotel room. Sensing something was wrong, they called 911. Upon arrival, the ambulance personnel tested the air for carbon dioxide that registered positive for carbon monoxide at dangerous levels. Test results concluded that the entire building was under negative pressure, causing carbon monoxide to leak through a cracked chimney in the hotel room. The plaintiff alleges that operating water heaters in a building under negative pressure can increase corrosion rates causing leaks to vent pipes allowing carbon monoxide gas to escape into the guest rooms. An expert in carbon monoxide was sought to opine on the issue.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please discuss your experience in training maintenance personnel for large hotel chains.
  • 2. What programs/training guides are available for ensuring a situation described in the case summary does not happen?

Expert Witness Response E-009427

As former Director of Services for Marriott hotels, I have extensive experience in training maintenance personnel for large hotel chains. While with Marriott, I received the Director of Services of the Year Award for the Northwest Region. I have concerns about the defendant’s preventative maintenance policies. Most hotels have one or a couple of individuals who do preventative maintenance, with the expectation that each room is going to be checked at least once every month. The question here is whether the maintenance staff checked their equipment for appropriate operation and if staff were adequately trained.

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