$1.8 Million Judgment Awarded to Carbon Monoxide Victim

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Jan 23, 2011 in Cases Filed

FOND DU LAC, WI A Fond du Lac County judge awarded a $1.8 million judgment to a Fond du Lac woman who suffered acute carbon monoxide poisoning while staying at the home of a friend.

Emergency personnel were called to a Rosendale home in western Fond du Lac County after Barbara Jean Allen, 48, of Fond du Lac, Wis., was found unconscious by the homeowner in his living room.

Police reports say the 911 dispatcher who received the homeowners call recognized the symptoms as potential carbon monoxide poisoning. Emergency crews were called and, upon arriving at the house, immediately ventilated the home and performed carbon monoxide tests. Prior to Allen passing out she had been complaining of dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, head-aches and shortness of breath, all common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Two other individuals in the house also complained of similar symptoms.

Test results from the first floor of the home resulted in a positive reading of 85 parts per million. The basement reading was 330 parts per million. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide poisoning can occur at 70 ppm. At levels above 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness and death can result.

Upon inspection, it was discovered that the ventilation pipe for the furnace was broken, venting exhaust fumes directly into the basement. Evidence presented in the case suggested that a farm animal that the homeowner knew had previously entered the home caused damage to the ventilation pipe.

Allens lawyer, Rich Kalkhoff, said Allen suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the incident. Complications from the carbon monoxide poisoning caused Allen to suffer a stroke and a heart attack.

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