Renters blame landlord in infant's carbon dioxide death

Kelly Holleran Jul. 1, 2010, 2:46am

The parents of a deceased infant blame the owner of their home for allowing carbon dioxide and other toxic fumes to seep into their rental property, resulting in their child's death.

Martinae Binford and Anthony Barton Sr. filed a lawsuit June 21 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Callie C. Mobley doing business as Mobley's Rentals.

The plaintiffs claim Binford gave birth to Anthony Barton Jr. May 25, 2009. Anthony Barton Jr. remained hospitalized until June 23, 2009, when Binford and Barton brought him to their rental home at 3827 Grand Ave. in St. Clair County, according to the complaint.

"While Anthony Barton Jr. resided at 3827 Grand Ave. in St. Clair County on June 23, 24, 25, and 26, 2009, he was exposed to hazardous levels of carbon dioxide and/or other dangerous gases coming from a defectively installed and/or maintained hot water heater and furnace inside of Defendant's rental property," the suit states. "On June 26, 2009, Anthony Barton Jr.'s health deteriorated and plaintiffs returned him to the hospital. He was found to be hypercarbic at the hospital."

Anthony Barton Jr. died on June 27, 2009, the complaint says.

Following Anthony Barton Jr.'s death, a company inspected the rental premises and issued a notice of code or hazardous condition to Mobley, the plaintiffs claim. Hazardous conditions listed in the report included missing combustion doors on the hot water heater and improper venting of the hot water heater and furnace, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs allege wrongful death against Mobley.

In their three-count complaint, Binford and Anthony Barton Sr. seek a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

James E. Parrot of the Law Office of James E. Parrot in St. Louis will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-305.

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