Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the News4 I-Team's Chief Investigative Reporter. He has won multiple Midsouth Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Westin Hotel carbon monoxide leak - 11/7/18

A carbon monoxide leak occurred on Nov. 7 at The Westin hotel in downtown Nashville. (WSMV)

At first, when an employee within the Westin called 911, it was to report someone had collapsed in the hotel gym.

Minutes later, her 911 call reveals her bewildered concern.

“I have a lot of people coming downstairs right now complaining about the same thing,” the employee said.

The 911 calls made on Nov. 7 from the Westin Hotel downtown shows as carbon monoxide was leaking throughout the third floor, the staff downstairs was confused as to what was making the guests sick.

The first employee called and said first that only one employee was sick, but as the call continued, started talking about people who were ill as well.

“I'm a little confused. A group of people need to be checked out? What's going on?” the 911 operator asked.

“I'm not sure. I have all the people that are coming from the gym looking like they are getting ready to literally pass out,” said the employee.

A second staffer called from inside the gym minutes later, describing someone sick in the gym but made no mention of a carbon monoxide leak.

The News4 I-Team uncovered that the floor where a heater had malfunctioned did not have a carbon monoxide detector.

A state ordinance, adopted by the city, only requires carbon monoxide detectors on floors where guests sleep.

The third floor only housed a pool and the workout room.

A News4 I-Team investigation exposed other reports all over the country of hotels with carbon monoxide leaks from heaters by pools.

The News4 I-Team repeatedly reached out to a spokeswoman for Marriott, asking questions including if the hotel has now installed a carbon monoxide detector on that floor.

A Marriott spokeswoman did not respond to our questions by our deadline. Marriott owns the Westin Hotel.

While it’s unclear what steps the hotel has taken since the leak, the 911 calls reveal the confusion by the staff.

At one point, the first employee called then speaks to another employee.

“911 is advising that everyone evacuate the hotel,” the first employee said.

“They want everybody to?” asked another employee.

“Yes. They don't know if it’s going to spread and I even feel it in my nose,” the first employee said.

The 911 operator then orders them out of the hotel.

“You said you're in the lobby. You smell it now?” the 911 operator asked.

“Yeah, like I'm tingling,” the employee said.

“Go ahead and get out of that hotel, OK?” the 911 operator said.

One of the guests who became sick at the hotel has now filed a lawsuit against Marriott and the property manager.

“People who are victims of carbon monoxide poisoning often see long term financial effects from it, everything from medical bills to lost future wages to psychological issues,” said attorney Daniel Alholm, who filed the suit on behalf of the guest.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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