Three tourists were found dead at a Bahamas resort, and another was airlifted to a hospital for injuries. The case is under investigation, but we know that the victims were 3 Americans, including Vincent Chiarella of Birmingham, Alabama. The airlifted patient was Chiarella’s wife, Donnis, who woke up with extreme swelling in her arms and legs. She screamed for help when she saw her husband on the floor, which led to the discovery of the other victims.
A possible cause for the accident may be faulty air-conditioning, which could have released toxic levels of Freon into the air. Freon exposure may explain the symptoms experienced by Donnis Chiarella, as swelling and pain are common side-effects of this toxic chemical. While Freon is commonly used as a refrigerant in various appliances, hotels must take precautions to prevent the risk of deadly accidents. It’s worth noting that guests had complained about the air conditioning system, including a tourist who wrote on Facebook, “It was hard to sleep last night — every time the a/c came on, I woke up.”
This tragedy illustrates the need for hotels to take complaints seriously and act immediately to ensure the safety of their guests. There is no shortage of hazards that can cause accidents at a hotel, especially at large-scale resorts. Slip and falls, food poisoning, broken furniture injuries, and bed bug infestations are just a few of the accidents that you can suffer from while staying at a hotel. Any of these accidents can lead to serious injuries, including death. In such cases, the victim or the loved ones of the victim may be able to sue the hotel for monetary damages.
Have you or a family member been injured while staying at a hotel or resort? Have you lost a loved one to an accident that occurred at a hotel? If so, please contact the hotel liability lawyers of Downtown L.A. Law Group. We have many combined years of experience with hotel injury cases and the methods for recovering the settlement you deserve.
How Can Freon Hurt You?
If this is the first time you’re hearing about Freon poisoning, you’re not alone. It’s not a subject that’s talked about often, and the chemical is generally safe as long as you’re not exposed to it at toxic levels. Accidents are rare, except among professionals who work directly with refrigerators and air conditioners.
However, Freon can be deadly when it leaks from an appliance, especially in rooms with limited ventilation. You can see how this would be a problem when hotel guests are staying in rooms with the AC on and the windows closed. Worst of all, victims are unaware of the leak until it’s too late, since Freon is virtually tasteless and odorless.
Because Freon cuts off your oxygen supply, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Swelling or irritation of the eyes, throat, and ears
- Headaches and dizziness
- Skin irritation
- Nausea and/or vomiting
In cases of prolonged exposure, you may start to experience:
- Breaching problems
- Fluid buildup or bleeding in the lungs
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling dazed and confused
- Irregular heartbeat
With such serious consequences, any case of refrigerant poisoning should be addressed right away. Make sure to see a doctor if you suspect Freon poisoning while you’re staying at a hotel. Then, speak to a hotel accident injury lawyer to find out about your legal options.
Hotel Liability in a Lawsuit for Compensation
Accidents happen for many reasons, and some of them are simply a case of bad luck. So how do you know if the hotel you’re staying at is responsible for your injury? To answer that question, let’s consider the following factors:
- Was there a hazard on the hotel premises that could cause harm to individuals?
- Should the owner have known about the hazards?
The second question – what the owner should have known about – is particularly important. A lot of times, hotel owners try to avoid responsibility by saying they were unaware of certain issues. However, many problems are easily discovered through routine inspections by hotel staff and management. If the hotel fails in their duties and misses hazards like refrigerant leaks, wet floors, and broken / uneven pavement, they can be sued for the resulting injuries, including death.
Proving liability can be challenging in cases of Freon poisoning. In the Bahamas resort case, for example, there’s a good chance the resort will try to blame the manufacturer of the air-conditioning system. Manufacturer defects can certainly result in tragic accidents, and companies are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe. But issues with the A/C do not take away from the hotel’s duty of care to their guests. After all, the coolant leak may have been discovered had the hotel performed routine inspections, or the very least, addressed guest complaints right away.
As you can see, liability is a complex issue and establishing who is responsible for a hotel accident or death requires the expertise of a hotel injury attorney. Don’t miss out on the compensation you’re entitled to. Call DTLA and find out about the actions you can take in a hotel liability lawsuit.
Hotel Liability Compensation Awards
The compensation you’re eligible for depends on the type of accident and the damages you’ve suffered as a result. Most hotel accident claims, including refrigerant poisoning cases, qualify for the following losses:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Legal fees
You may also qualify for punitive damages, which can only be awarded by the court. In order to recover punitive damages, you will need to prove gross negligence, meaning the hotel’s actions that caused your accident were especially outrageous. You’ll need to speak with a lawyer to see if your case meets the legal standard and the amount you should request if you’re eligible.
Wrongful Death Compensation Claims
If a hotel accident caused the death of your family member or loved one, you may be able to sue for wrongful death compensation. The laws governing wrongful death claims are complicated, including terms for who is able to sue and what they are allowed to ask for. In general, a wrongful death compensation claim includes:
- Medical expenses left behind by the victim
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of benefits like health care and retirement funds
- Loss of expected wages and other financial support
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Our attorneys can explain these damages to you in detail and assist you with the claims process depending on your relationship to the decedent. If you’re ready to learn more about your rights and legal options, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Free Second Opinions
Do you have a pending lawsuit against a hotel, motel, or resort, but feel like your case is going nowhere? Do you suspect that your case is worth more, or that your lawyer isn’t the right fit for your type of accident? You should not brush aside these issues, which can affect the outcome of your case and leave you with inadequate compensation for your injuries.
If you’re unhappy with your lawyer, please contact our office and schedule a free second opinion. Our lawyers have many years of experience with hotel injury claims, and know the kind of work and effort that’s needed for these cases. If your attorney is failing to take proper actions on your behalf, we can advise you of the terms for switching lawyers in the middle of a case.
If it’s in your best interest to work with us, all the details related to transferring your case will be handled by our law firm. There is no cost for the transfer, nor will you pay us anything for our services until your case is settled. You have nothing to lose no matter what you decide, so please take this opportunity and schedule a free second opinion.
The Hotel Accident Lawyers of DTLA
Whether you’re on vacation or traveling for work, you have certain expectations when you stay at a hotel. There’s not much you can do about bad service or unattractive décor, but you can take action if you’ve been harmed by a hotel’s negligence. No matter what type of accident you’ve suffered at a hotel, our lawyers can fight for your rights and bring you the monetary award you’re entitled to.
There’s no need to worry about legal fees, since there are upfront costs under our Zero fee guarantee. Our fees are recovered from the hotel that’s responsible for your accident, so there is no financial risk to you and your family. The same principle applies if you come to us from another law firm – we don’t get paid unless you get paid.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group and speak to a hotel accident lawsuit attorney.