A terrible tragedy in Michigan claimed the life of one child and left 13 more unconscious and in critical condition. Employees of Quality Inn in Niles, Michigan made the terrible discovery on April 1st at the indoor swimming pool at the hotel. Initial indications are that a chemical reaction caused the chlorine in the pool to be converted to carbon monoxide, which is extremely dangerous to humans. This type of reaction is possible in all pool environments but is much more likely in indoor pools.
People are familiar with many of the risks pools pose, including high risks of accidental drowning. But most people are not aware of the dangers posed by the chlorine that is used to keep the pool clean. Chlorine is a chemical, and most chemicals pose significant risks under the right circumstances. Carbon monoxide detectors are, at a bare minimum, required for safety in any indoor pool environment.
Carbon monoxide is dangerous when inhaled. Children are at higher risk for suffering severe injury or even death from carbon monoxide poisoning because of their smaller lungs and bodies. Though carbon monoxide exposure in a pool setting is relatively rare, carbon monoxide poisoning is frightfully common overall.
Hotels, apartment buildings, gyms and other environments where people pay to have access have a basic responsibility to ensure the safety of those people. Though there are always going to be genuine accidents, this duty requires that management take reasonable precautions. Not being aware of the potential risks of an indoor pool is not responsible.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to the unwillingness of a landlord or property owner to exercise reasonable care in ensuring the safety of their premises, it can be difficult to know how to hold the negligent party to account. Contacting an experienced attorney can help you understand the legal obligations of property owners.