(BALTIMORE – January 12, 2023) –– Two Baltimore and West Virginia law firms jointly representing 86
federal inmates poisoned by carbon monoxide (“CO”) have filed a federal lawsuit in Baltimore asking a
federal judge to order that these inmates be medically evaluated and treated following an extraordinarily
severe carbon monoxide release on August 8-11, 2021 while they were locked in their cells at FCI
McDowell, the federal prison located in Welch, WV. The lawsuit names the Director of the Federal
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Colette Peters and 6 regional directors for the BOP, including the Mid-Atlantic
Regional Director Chris Gomez, located in Annapolis Junction, MD, who is responsible for that prison’s
After a malfunction of a huge boiler that heated prison water at FCI McDowell that caused this epic CO
release, audio and strobe light alarms sounded and flashed to warn inmates and employees (who were
also poisoned) of the presence of high levels of carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless poisonous
gas. Prison officials and employees ignored these alarms for almost three days and failed to stop the CO
contamination. Instead, they disabled the audio alarm but left on the strobe light alarm and left the
inmates locked in their cells being continuously poisoned through these days and nights.
Only after sick inmates and employees began vomiting, passing out and urinating and defecating on
themselves were they evacuated to fresh air. These advanced symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
do not occur unless the levels of this poisonous gas are incredibly high; and these symptoms indicate
serious and permanent brain damage. See affidavit of Dr. Lindell K. Weaver attached to this lawsuit.
Despite multiple complaints to the BOP that the inmates continue to suffer from the effects of CO
poisoning, the BOP has neglected to have them properly treated or evaluated. This neglect has been
“What happened here is worse than we’ve ever seen and we handle carbon monoxide cases across the
country,” said attorneys William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr. and Andrew O’Connell of Murphy Falcon &
Murphy in Baltimore. “Prison officials and employees at FCI McDowell were grossly negligent and
indifferent to the welfare of these literally helpless men. The brain damage from this level and duration
of carbon monoxide poison has ruined their lives,” said attorney Jason Foster of the Segal Law Firm in
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy
About The Segal Law Firm
Segal Law Firm
injured by the negligence or misconduct of others. The Segal firm handles large class actions and
other complex litigation as well as representing the average citizen of WV in car accidents and other
cases involving serious personal injury.
*Each case is different. Past success does not guarantee a favorable result in any future case.