North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Carbon Monoxide Fatality

October 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Monique L. Carpenter is suing Old Republic Home Protection, homeowner Willie McKinney, Windham Heating and Air Conditioning, and its owner Paul “Eddie” Windham for her North Carolina wrongful death. Carpenter and her friend Darryl Gregory died on November 14, 2008 from carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the North Carolina wrongful death complaint, Carpenter had gone to visit Gregory at the home that he was renting in Greensboro. McKinney is the owner of the home.

Gregory had reportedly told McKinney on several occasions that the furnace needed to be fixed. Old Republic, a home-warranty company, hired Windham to fix the furnace. On November 12, 2008, Windham went to the rental and discovered that the access doors and flue pipe connection to the furnace weren’t in place. Despite a recommendation by a technician that a new furnace be brought in, Windham did not install a new one. The family’s North Carolina wrongful death complaint is accusing Windham and his company of “willful and wanton conduct” that reflect an “intentional disregard of and indifference” to others’ safety. They also claim that Windham did not check the ventilation system to ensure that the carbon monoxide gas couldn’t enter the house.

On November 14, Gregory, who was told that the furnace had been fixed, used it for the first time. He and Carpenter died of carbon monoxide poisoning that day.

Carpenter’s family is accusing Old Republic of failing to investigate Windham, who had been disciplined twice by the by the N.C. State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. He has been placed on probation twice.

Carbon Monoxide
Nearly 500 people are killed in the US each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning from fuel-burning appliances, charcoal burned inside a garage, car, home, or tent, or cars that were left running in garages attached to residences. The Centers for Disease Control says that more than 15,000 hospital visits a year are a result of CO poisoning. CO is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas. Signs of CO poisoning include fatigue, nausea, and headaches. Co poisoning can cause brain injury and death.

Family sues over death, Winston-Salem Journal, October 2, 2010

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, eMedicineHealth


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