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carbon monoxide

Chemical Spill in Kansas Hospitalizes Over 100 People

Last week, a Kansas-based manufacturer of food and beverage products accidently released a toxic chemical gas, a mixture of sodium hypocholorite and sulfuric acid, which sent over 100 people to the hospital. Fortunately, of the 125 people who sought medical attention, only two required an overnight stay in the hospital. MGP Ingredients, which was responsible for the spill, explained that the gas spill had dissipated after only a few hours. Additionally, the company has reported the incident to the EPA and plans to fully cooperate with the investigation. The company is also taking additional measures to avoid any future spills by engaging outside experts to investigate and assess the situation. How a Gas Spill Leads to Hospitalization While large gas spills are not everyday news, it is not an uncommon occurrence for people to be hospitalized for exposure to toxic gases. Most commonly it is due to carbon monoxide, which nearly everyone has been warned that it is the silent killer. Unfortunately, when a large gas spill happens near populated areas, individuals in the surrounding areas can have their health impacted. Usually, it is just for a short duration and only effects people within a certain radius from the spill. When the air that people breath has its chemical concentration changed, people can begin to notice problems, such as: Shortness of breath Light-headedness or dizziness Headache Nausea The symptoms can vary from severe to mild, from person to person, and in type or duration. For instance, a person with asthma, or another respiratory condition, will likely be more severely affected than someone without a respiratory condition. Can a Company Be Held Liable for a Chemical Gas Spill? When a toxic gas spill occurs, manufacturers can not only be held liable to the public for violations of anti-pollution laws, but can also be held liable to individuals who were injured, and/or affected, on a negligence theory. Since public gas spills tend to be atmospheric, meaning that a company released gas outside and not inside their buildings or buildings own by others, people generally are not severely affected. Nevertheless, companies can still be held liable for injuries or damages that an accidental release of gas can cause. The numerous people who went to the hospital as a result of the recent Atchison, Kansas gas spill may have potential claims or lawsuits against MGP Ingredients as a result of the spill. While injuries of a very short duration may not be valued very highly, medical bills as well as incidental or special damages can also be assessed, in addition to damages for pain and distress. Related Resources: Injured in an accident? Get matched with a local attorney. (Consumer Injury) Health Hazards (FindLaw’s Injured) Samsung Hit With First U.S. Lawsuit for Exploding Note 7 Smartphone (FindLaw’s Injured) Student Slips in Vomit, Suffers Brain Damage, Sues School for $1.3M (FindLaw’s Injured)
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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Can Lead to Lawsuits

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced by burning fuel, including coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas, and fuel oil. It can also give rise to lawsuits in certain situations. Coined a "silent killer," carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of accidental poisonings in our country. Injuries that result from carbon monoxide poisoning can often be blamed on a host of parties, including manufacturers, businesses, builders, and landlords. Here's what you need to know: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning An estimated 1,000 people die each year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands of others end up in hospital emergency rooms. When inhaled, carbon monoxide (CO) enters the blood stream and prevents the flow of oxygen. The symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with other illnesses such as the flu or food poisoning, according to the CDC. Exposure to carbon monoxide can impede coordination, worsen cardiovascular conditions, and produce symptoms like fatigue, headache, weakness, confusion, disorientation, nausea, and dizziness. High levels of exposure can lead to irregularity of the heart, coma, and even death. Liability for Carbon Monoxide Injuries Landlords and businesses are legally required to take reasonable steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Standard safety precautions may include performing routine tests, installing carbon monoxide detectors, and complying with building codes and safety standards (for example, when installing or using cooking equipment, gas-powered tools, hot water heaters, and other appliances). Those injured due to carbon monoxide poisoning often file lawsuits under the legal theories of negligence, strict liability for failure to warn, and strict liability for a defective product. Depending on the facts of the case, a lawsuit could implicate a number of parties, including manufacturers, businesses, builders, and landlords. Need More Help? If you believe you or someone you know suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of the negligence of a business, landlord, or builder, you should seek immediate medical treatment and contact a personal injury attorney to explore potential legal remedies. Related Resources: Carbon Monoxide Detectors State Statutes (National Conference of State Legislatures) Top 3 Space Heater Injury Risks (FindLaw's Injured) Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Cover Injuries? (FindLaw's Injured) After the Fire: Claims for Injuries Caused by Defective Smoke Detectors (FindLaw's KnowledgeBase)
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