Carbon monoxide deaths lead to civil action

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 5, 2005, 4:47am

2116 Belle Ave. in Belleville

The mother of two children who were poisoned to death by carbon monoxide and several residents of a Belleville apartment complex who were overcome by the gas, filed suit March 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Aaliyah Barber, as special administrator of the estates of Amani Aqueelah Shahidah Hameed and Zakis Ashan Shakil Hameed, is suing Macaluso General Maintenance and Property Management for damages in excess of $150,000, plus medical and funeral expenses. Barber claims she suffered great losses of a pecuniary nature, including the loss of companionship and society of her children.

Also listed as plaintiffs in the case are Laura Perez, Juan Perez, Adam Weygandt, and Chad Dagenhart.

According to the complaint, the apartment--located at 2116 Belle Ave. in Belleville--filled with carbon monoxide gas on Nov. 27, 2003, causing serious injuries--and death--to inhabitants of apartments A, B and C.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with natural gas, liquefied petroleum (LP gas), oil, kerosene, coal, or wood may produce carbon monoxide.

The plaintiffs claim the carbon monoxide was generated in the garage of Apartment B, and circulated through the heating system and several gaps within the building into the apartments of A, B, and C.

The plaintiff’s claim Macaluso:

  • Improperly installed fire separation walls in the residence;

  • Improperly installed the HVAC system in the residence;

  • Failed to install the HVAC system in a workmanship like manner;

  • Improperly ducted and vented the HVAC system in an unsafe manner;

  • Improperly installed the mechanical closet in the residence;

  • Failed to construct and inspect the residence in accord with all applicable building codes, laws, and regulations;

  • Failed to discover, repair, and correct any dangerous conditions, dangerous instrumentality, and latent defects of the residence; and

  • Failed to issue warnings as may be reasonably necessary for the protection of residents.

    Other plaintiffs, who either live or were visiting the apartment, are seeking at least $50,000 each claiming they were made sick, sore, disorderly, disabled and suffered severe pain and mental anguish in both body and mind, plus medical expenses.

    The plaintiffs are represented by Belleville attorney Stephen Clark.

    05 CH 294 (20th Circuit)

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