Who is liable for medical bills arising from a carbon monoxide leak in hotel booked by an airline?

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Who is liable for medical bills arising from a carbon monoxide leak in hotel booked by an airline?

My son, his girlfriend, and their son were delayed due to engine problems on an airline flight and were sent to ahotel were carbon monoxide poisoning occurred and several people had to be taken to the emergency room. My son now has to pay the hospital bill, including emergency transport, and was told that it would go against his credit score if he did not pay the bills. The airlines as well as the hotel are declining any claim.

Asked on December 21, 2010 under Personal Injury, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If your son received medical treatment, then he has to pay the bills. (Hopefully, he has health insurance.) Anyone receiving medical treatment is obligated on the bills.

2) The above said, if your son believes someone else was at fault in causing him injury, he may sue them.

3) Your son doesn't have to take the declination of his claim(s) as the final word; again, he can sue, which is where someone has the chance to prove that another was at fault and is liable, or legally resonsible, for his injuries and costs.

4) It is hard to see why the airline would be responsible; they did not cause his injury and are not responsible for the hotel's  safety, etc.--not even if they booked passengers into it. The only exception might be the very rare case of the airline knowingly booking people into a hotel with known health or safety issues; that might then give rise to a claim.

5) On the other hand, since hotel rooms should not have excessive carbon monoxide levels, the hotel may very well be responsible, and your son should consult with a personal injury attorney on the matter.


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