Carbon Monoxide Expert Opines on Fatal Poisoning From Defective Stove


Carbon Monoxide Expert WitnessThis case involves the sudden death of a middle aged man in Michigan due to carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found on his couch in his apartment, where he lived alone, and it was also discovered that his pets had also died. Upon further investigation, there was evidence of faulty ventilation of the apartment’s water heater as well as the gas fired stove. Both the stove and the water heater had been installed just before the man began residing in the apartment. After the incident was investigated, it became clear that the stove and heater were the only possible source of carbon monoxide in the apartment. It was alleged that the stove and heater were negligently installed, and that the apartment lacked proper ventilation.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is your background with the dispersal and ventilation of carbon monoxide?
  • 2. What are the testing procedures for evaluating proper ventilation in residential apartment complexes?

Expert Witness Response E-006959

I am able to determine if the system was installed incorrectly or if there were malfunctioning parts. I could also speak to whether or not there was a problem with the house and its ventilation system. Generally, carbon monoxide accumulates due to incomplete combustion in household appliances such as heaters and stoves. Since carbon monoxide is both tasteless and odorless, it is impossible to detect without a dedicated monitoring system. In this case, it is likely that faults in the stove’s installation created a low-oxygen combustion environment, while a lack of adequate ventilation allowed for the accumulation of carbon monoxide in the apartment.

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