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CO poisoning incident/Kohler Generators

Old 07-16-2003, 10:44 AM
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Default CO poisoning incident/Kohler Generators

Anyone know if this article is referring to the incident on LOTO in 1999? 4 died in cruiser at BWJ then.
Kohler to pay $25 million in punitive damages

United States

A St. Louis Circuit Court jury has issued a $25-million punitive damage verdict against generator manufacturer Kohler Co. over the deaths of four people in 1999 from carbon monoxide poisoning aboard a boat, according to a Friday, March 28 report of the Jefferson City New Tribune.

The boat was owned by two of the victims – Randolph and Lois Anderson – and it was determined that the deaths were due to a leak in the generator's exhaust tube, the newspaper reported.

During the trial, attorneys for the plaintiff argued that despite the deaths of four other people in similar cases, the company had not recalled the faulty part. However, the company said last Friday that it plans to recall the part now, according to the newspaper.

Compensating damages of about $525,000 were awarded to the family, most of which were against Kohler and some of which were against Bratco Inc., which performed some maintenance on the generator. Randolph Anderson was also ruled partly responsible for maintenance he performed on the boat, the newspaper reported.

Kohler was unavailable for comment in time for this report.

Kohler replacing select marine generator exhausts

KOHLER, Wis. – In an effort to provide maximum boating safety, Kohler Co. will replace, at no charge, the black iron wet exhaust pipe assembly with a stainless steel exhaust tube on specified Kohler marine generator sets manufactured from 1950 to 1989, according to the July issue of NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors) News.

In March, it was reported that a St. Louis Circuit Court jury issued a $25-million punitive damage verdict against generator manufacturer Kohler Co. over the deaths of four people in 1999 from carbon monoxide poisoning aboard a boat. It was reportedly determined that the deaths were due to a leak in the generator's exhaust tube. (See Boating Industry Online article Kohler to pay $25 million in punitive damages.)

The affected marine generator sets, equipped with L600 or L654 gasoline engines, were built under the following model numbers: 2R, 2A, 2.5R, 2.5A, 3.5R, 3.5A, 4R, 4A, 5R, 5A, 6.5R, 6.5A, 7.5R, 7.5A, the association newsletter reported. Carbon monoxide poisoning may result from failure of the black iron wet exhaust pipe used on these identified generator sets.

Kohler Co. is working with its distributors and dealers, and others involved in the marine service industry to locate these marine generator set models, according to NAMS. The specified marine generators were used in a variety of boat applications.

Boat owners who believe they have one of the affected generator models should contact an authorized Kohler distributor or dealer or should contact Kohler toll-free in the U.S. at 866-866-4933, or outside the U.S. at 920-803-4986, the association reported.

Information also is available at the Kohler Power Systems Web site:
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Old 07-16-2003, 11:21 AM
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There was an incident down there involving a person being poisoned while sitting on a swim platform of a Formula. No mention was made if it had a genset. This is really dissapointing for Kohler as they make a pretty good product.
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Old 07-16-2003, 11:33 AM
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Cord, I read about that too. As for Kohler, thy've changed. My dealings with their sales, parts, and service depts have been terrible. With the pervasive indifferent and even contemptuous attitude of Kohler employees, I'll probably be buying a Westerbeke.
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:45 PM
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It's unfortunate that this happened but didn't they have a CO Alarm on board?
I wouldn't consider having a genset without one.
Same goes for a house with gas or oil heat.
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:59 AM
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FYI, It was 1999 incident at LOTO.
Check your gensets. I've got the same one thats recalled.

4 Joplin residents found dead
Carbon monoxide suspected in deaths on docked boat
By Debby Woodin and John Hacker
Globe Staff Writers

Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected of causing the deaths of a Joplin building contractor, his wife, and two other Joplin residents during the weekend on a docked cabin cruiser at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Missouri State Water Patrol confirmed the identities of the victims as Randolph S. Anderson, 40, and his wife, Lois M. Anderson, 39, 2767 South Country Club Road; John C. Harris, 32, 1202 Yuma St., and Robert A. Stein, 42, 5481 McClelland Park Road.

Stein was employed by Anderson. Harris, a carpenter, formerly worked for the business, according to a local trade group.

Their bodies were found on Anderson's boat near Osage Beach on the Lake of the Ozarks after they failed to return from a holiday weekend outing.

Authorities said that fumes, apparently from a power generator, were so prevalent in the cabin of the boat that two officers were overcome while investigating the deaths.

Sgt. Paul Kennedy, an investigator for the patrol, said the bodies were found at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday after the four had been reported missing.

"We had a call sometime late (Tuesday) from co-workers who said (the men) were missing from work, which was uncharacteristic of them," Kennedy said.

Water Patrol Sgt. Joseph Hughes, head of the Lake Area Major Case Squad, said the positions of the bodies indicated the victims died in their sleep.

Hughes said investigators said the odor of exhaust fumes was strong when they entered the cabin of the boat, and that they found lights on and a generator running.

"It was obvious if you had been outside in the fresh air and walked into the cabin, but it may not have been so obvious if you had been in the cabin all along," Hughes said.

Anderson and his wife were the owners of Heartland Homes Inc., a Joplin development firm. Anderson's development projects included the Forest Ridge subdivision on Zora Street west of St. Louis Avenue, Countryside Acres in Webb City, and Roaring Springs subdivision near Twin Hills Golf and Country Club west of Joplin.

"Anderson's company was one of the highest volume builders in the area," said Peggy Lentz, executive officer with the Homebuilders Association of Southwest Missouri. "He was one of the biggest residential builders in the area. He served as president of our group in 1993 and was on our board of directors for five years."

Anderson also was a partner and owner of Coldwell Banker Advantage, a Joplin real estate firm.

Kennedy said the boat was seized for investigative purposes and the Missouri State Division of Fire Safety is trying to determine how the carbon monoxide entered the cabin.

The bodies were taken to Columbia for autopsies that will be performed today, Kennedy said.

Hughes said his squad met Wednesday, and that the investigation was continuing.

"We just need to follow up on a few more leads and confirm that the deaths were accidents," Hughes said. "A lot depends on what comes up in the autopsies and the toxicology reports. We just want to make sure we've covered all our bases before we come up with a final cause of death."

Kennedy said concentrations of the colorless, odorless gas were so high in the boat that officers started suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning while investigating the incident.

"A sergeant with the Osage Beach Department of Public Safety, and one of our officers were taken to the hospital after starting to feel dizzy and lightheaded," Kennedy said. "They were only in the boat for a short time. Three other officers were taken to the hospital as a precaution."

The bodies were found in a 40-foot Silverton cruiser, owned by Anderson and his wife and moored at a restaurant dock on the main channel of the lake near Osage Beach. Kennedy would not disclose the name of the restaurant, though the Associated Press reported that it was Backwater Jack's.

A water patrol officer checked the boat after restaurant employees reported that it had been moored at the dock since Sunday, Kennedy said.

Hughes said it is not unusual for boats to tie up at a dock with a restaurant or bar and "stay a while."

The officer saw the bodies through a window.

Fatal cases of carbon-monoxide poisoning on pleasure boats are rare, Kennedy said, though Missouri has had previous cases. Kennedy said he recalls three similar incidents in Missouri in the past 10 years. Records of those incidents were not immediately available from the patrol.

Kennedy said the deaths should serve as a reminder that people should use carbon monoxide detectors.

"Anytime you have confined spaces and any type of mechanical devices to heat or cool, especially on vessels or recreational vehicles, you should always have carbon monoxide alarms on board and in working order," he said.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:19 PM
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Didn't hear that but in my buisness I deal with a lot of horse people . I have herd of 3 cases this year where there horses died from the fumes in the trailer with the generator running ...
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