Massachusetts Court rules on claims after 4 died from carbon monoxide poisoning.


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that an insurer is responsible for paying liability claims resulting from the improper use of a portable generator, despite an uninsured premises exclusion in the insured’s homeowners policy.

This comes after four people died from carbon monoxide poisoning at an uninsured cabin owned by Mark Wakelin. The cabin did not have electrical power, and it was found that a portable generator Wakelin left at the cabin had been improperly used indoors by the victims to power a small refrigerator.

Carbon Monoxide Accident

Around July 14, 2015, Wakelin’s daughter, Brooke, and son, Matthew, went to the cabin with two friends, Keith Norris and Deana Lee Powers, to celebrate Brooke’s upcoming twenty-second birthday. Shortly after arriving at the camp, all four died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

After the cabin was inspected, it was discovered that the victims had plugged the cabin’s small refrigerator into the portable generator using an extension cord and ran the generator inside the cabin without opening any windows or doors. The generator was not running when it was found, but its switch was in the ‘on’ position, and it contained little-to-no gasoline. (Read more…)