A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against an RV dealership in Colorado, alleging that she was sold a dangerous and defective motorhome that ultimately caused her and her son to be hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Lynn Runyan in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on September 7, alleging that RV America the Marketplace Inc. sold her a defective 2013 Holiday Rambler Model 34SBD. The class A motorhome allegedly had numerous problems, including a carbon monoxide leak that the dealer has refused to repair.
Runyan purchased the RV for $132,629 in October 2013, with only 1,111 miles, and received an extended warranty. However, she quickly discovered it had numerous problems despite being under warranty. Issues included a damaged back end, windshield wiper, battery, bed frame, and a leaking propane tank and a malfunctioning refrigerator.
After having numerous repairs done, Runyan took the RV back to Colorado for the dealership to make a number of fixes. While she was waiting for her scheduled repair date, which was slated for September 2, despite the fact that she requested the repairs in July, she and her adult son heard the carbon monoxide warning go off.
Fire department investigators determined there was a serious carbon monoxide problem in the RV. The RV was found to have more than 159 parts per million of carbon monoxide, which can cause headaches and other injuries following extended exposure.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, which contains no irritating factors to allow an individual to detect it’s presence. Levels are considered dangerous and potentially fatal at 70 parts per million.
As a result of exposure in the RV, Runyan indicates that she and her adult son were admitted to a local hospital suffering from symptoms carbon monoxide poisoning and had to be administered oxygen.
According to the complaint, when RV American looked at the motorhome on September 2, 2014, they refused to fix the RV’s carbon monoxide problem. The lawsuit claims this is because the employees used carbon dioxide detectors to attempt to find the issue, and did not know the difference between carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The dealership has refused to conduct the repairs even after keeping the RV from September until December 2014, the lawsuit claims.
“For the first year of ownership, while the RV was under warranty, it was in the repair shop for over three and a half months, This is in excess of what is acceptable for a consumer,” the lawsuit states. “The RV is dangerous and cannot be operated because of the carbon monoxide problem which the Defendant refused to repair. The Plaintiff cannot sell the RV because it is a piece of dangerous junk, and she would have to warn any potential purchasers of the carbon monoxide problem that the Defendant refused to repair.”
Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of fatal poisonings in the United States, killing about 500 people each year and causing about 15,000 emergency room visits. Because individuals typically fail to detect the exposure or mistake symptoms for a common cold, severe brain damage from carbon monoxide exposure can occur.
Runyan seeks $152,946.78 in damages in her carbon monoxide lawsuit, in addition to expenses associated with her medical care, repairs and roadside services, as well as attorney fees and costs.