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In February 2020, the firm’s clients Sandra and Bill Corning[1] moved to a 300 plus unit garden apartment building in West Los Angeles.  Sandra and Bill were on the cusp of retiring and looked forward to spending time with their two sons and future grandchildren.  Instead, Sandra and Bill were poisoned by carbon monoxide in their apartment that caused them permanent neurological and physiological harm. 

On November 10 and 11, 2020, Sandra and Bill suffered an acute carbon monoxide event that resulted in them having to go to the UCLA ER in the middle of the night.  The physicians at UCLA determined that Sandra and Bill had seriously elevated amounts of carbon monoxide in their blood.  Subsequent MRI testing by plaintiffs’ expert radiologist and neurologist revealed that Sandra and Bill had suffered brain damage from their exposure to carbon monoxide resulting in bouts of anxiety, confusion, loss of executive function (the ability to organize tasks), and post-traumatic stress disorder.  All of these are typical symptoms caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. 

From the moment we were given the opportunity to represent Sandra and Bill, we engaged multiple experts to determine not only how and why our clients were carbon monoxide poisoned but the full extent of their injuries.  What we found out was that, although Sandra and Bill lived in an apartment that did not have any gas fired appliances, they were two stories above a basement utility room that housed pool and spa heaters.  Our investigation revealed that the spa heater was generating  massive amounts of carbon monoxide that was poisoning their apartment by moving through the walls and superstructure of the property.  We also learned that the defendant owner and landlord had failed to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions which required a specific type of venting designed to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.  What was supposed to be a beautiful garden apartment overlooking a pool and spa was, in fact, a near death-trap for Sandra and Bill that had been leaking carbon monoxide into Sandra and Bill’s apartment for more than a year.    

The $4,000,000 settlement in this case was an exceptional result for Sandra and Bill. Although no amount of money can undo the harm caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, this settlement will give Sandra and Bill piece of mind knowing that they can retire in peace, obtain the therapy they will need to address their harms and losses, and enjoy their retirement in comfort. We are so grateful that Sandra and Bill entrusted their claim to Riley | Ersoff LLP.

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