Lawsuit filed against hotel for deadly carbon monoxide leak

Posted at 8:32 AM, May 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-20 08:38:52-04

NILES, Mich. — A lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Quality Inn & Suites in Niles following an April carbon monoxide leak that left a teen dead and several others injured.

Attorney Ven Johnson held a press conference Friday to announce the filing on behalf of the family of 13-year-old Bryan Douglas-Watts, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Five other victims were injured.

Bryan Douglass-Watts

The lawsuit claims that a faulty pool heater system and absence of a working carbon monoxide detector caused the pool area to fill with carbon monoxide.

Johnson says the goal of this lawsuit is not just about compensation, but to shine a light on the dangers of carbon monoxide and the importance of new legislation.

Current Michigan law requires only new commercial buildings built after 2009 to have carbon monoxide detectors.

“This truly is a silent killer,”Johnson said. “Without working carbon monoxide detectors or alarms you don’t know what’s happening until it’s too late”

Johnson said Michigan law does not do enough to protect people.

“Even worse, based upon our research, Indiana and Ohio have no laws on the books whatsoever requiring CO detectors,” he said. “We must draw attention to the obvious safety hazard and work together on legislation to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again.”

The lawsuit names the owner of the franchise Jayesh Patel and parent company Choice Hotels International, Inc. as responsible for the incident.