Family sues over Aspen carbon monoxide deaths

7:54 PM, Aug 11, 2010   |    comments
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"There were a series of failures," Jean Rittenour said at an afternoon news conference. Rittenour is the mother of Parker Lofgren, the father who died inside the Aspen home back in November 2008.

Parker and his wife Caroline along with their children Owen and Sophie died as they slept inside a home the family had won for the week of Thanksgiving at a school auction. Investigators quickly zeroed in on a boiler system designed to melt snow. A disconnected exhaust pipe allowed the deadly and odorless gas to seep into the home.

A grand jury has already indicted two men on four counts of criminally negligent death stemming from the carbon monoxide poisonings. One of the two installed the boiler system believed to be at fault. The other inspected it.

This civil lawsuit names a number of people and entities, including the two men who have been charged with the felonies.

"Little did Parker and Caroline realize that when they walked into that home they were walking into a death trap," Frederick Feuerbach said on Wednesday.

The father of Caroline Lofgren wiped away tears as he described the moment he was notified of the deaths.

"It was catastrophic news. Caroline, her husband and 2 children were all killed, you can't explain that, that feeling," he said.

"Only through this (lawsuit) can we prevent such a tragedy from happening again," Maria Dempsey, Caroline Lofgren's sister, said. "This is not a happy day for us; it is a very sad, very emotional day for us."

The deaths of the members of the Lofgren family prompted state legislators to change the law by requiring home sellers and home builders to install carbon monoxide detectors inside their homes.

For a copy of the lawsuit go to:

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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