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CLEARLAKE: Douglas Wood Died In Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Accident At Rental Property On Pearl Street


Apr 10, 2019

Douglas Wood Clearlake: Man Identified As Douglas Wood Found Dead Along With His Pets In Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Accident On Pearl Street

CLEARLAKE, CALIFORNIA (April 9, 2019) – A man from Clearlake identified as Douglas Wood has tragically died from carbon monoxide poisoning along with his four dogs at a rental property. 

Douglas Wood was at his home of Pearl Street when he and his four dogs were discovered deceased. Clearlake officials have launched an investigation into the cause of the death. Toxicology reports indicated carbon monoxide poisoning was likely a factor. 

City officials have issued violations and citations to more than 20 property owners in the area. In particular, Douglas Wood’s rental did not have a required heat source, carbon monoxide detectors or smoke detectors

Officials have not yet released the name of the property owners responsible for the violations. Multiple units were lacking proper heating sources and smoke detectors.

Several properties were in such bad shape that they were likely to be red-tagged. A full investigation in the carbon monoxide poisoning accident that killed Douglas Wood remains ongoing at this time. 

Liability In Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Accidents

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can be lethal at 300 parts per million (ppm). According to the Centers for Disease Control, “CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.” There are a number of symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting 
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

There are a number of sources of potential liability for carbon monoxide poisoning accidents. For example, product manufacturers could be held liable for an accident under product liability law. Many carbon monoxide leaks occur when hot water heaters malfunction. If the gas builds up in a confined area this can be lethal. Property owners could face liability as well. 

All companies and property owners are expected to take measures to keep their premises reasonably safe. According to the California Civil Code § 1714 subsection (a), “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” This includes installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

State law requires property owners to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in single family homes. Failing to install these devices can expose property owners to fines as well as civil liability. The family of a victim that died in a carbon monoxide poisoning accident may have legal recourse through California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the specific facts of your case and let you know what your rights are. 

Investigating A Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Douglas Wood. Anyone that may have knowledge about what happened should reach out to the Clearlake police department. There needs to be some accountability for this tragedy. Had the proper safety protocols been followed this may have been avoided entirely. 

If you or someone that you love has been harmed due to the negligence of a landlord you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We can take steps to make sure that evidence is preserved and that your rights are being protected. Whether you just have questions about your rights or need more information about an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us at (888) 888-9285.

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