Murphy, Falcon & Murphy Senior Partner Billy Murphy appeared yesterday on CBS Baltimore to discuss the carbon monoxide leak over the weekend at the Westin BWI Hotel that hospitalized nine people.
According to reports, 64 rooms were evacuated at the Westin BWI Hotel while firefighters searched for the source of the leak, which is now believed to be caused by a faulty pipeline in the building’s laundry room. Officials say the carbon monoxide levels at the hotel were 700-800 parts per million-the highest known incident in Maryland’s history. To put the severity of this event in greater perspective, any carbon monoxide reading above nine parts per million can be a potential hazard, resulting in catastrophic injuries to those exposed including brain damage, and even death.
Even more alarming is that the hotel rooms at the Westin BWI Hotel did not have carbon monoxide detectors, leaving guests and staff completely unprotected and unaware that they were being poisoned.
The incident has raised a major public health issue: Should hotels built prior to 2008 have carbon monoxide detectors as those built after 2008? This is an issue that hits close to home for Mr. Murphy because he has represented people who were severely harmed by carbon monoxide poisoning in hotels.
Because of his personal connection to carbon monoxide safety, Mr. Murphy is now pushing for emergency legislation to change this policy, so that all hotels, regardless of when they were built, are required to install carbon monoxide detectors.