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A wrongful death suit accusing motorhome manufacturer Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., generator supplier Onan Corp. and chassis supplier Workhorse Custom Chassis of negligence was filed in September in state court in Indiana, according to the Indianapolis Star.
The suit was filed in Marion Superior Court on Sept. 19 by the family of Dr. Armand Sylvestre, a 53-year-old Canadian who died two years ago from carbon monoxide poisoning while staying in a rented Fleetwood Southwind Storm Class A motorhome, according to the Indianapolis Star and the Windsor Star.
Also accused in the lawsuit was Robert Raymond Johnson, owner of Vacation of Wheels, an RV dealership in Belle River, Ontario, according to the Windsor Star.
Two others were found dead in the motorhome parked near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sept. 23, 2000. They were 47-year-old Dr. David Gilbert and 45-year-old Barry Rihbany. All three planned to attend the inaugural running of the U.S. Grand Prix that year.
Both Sylvestre and Gilbert were dentists and the Windsor Star described Rihbany as a prominent Windsor, Ontario, businessman.
The victims were using the motorhome’s generator to power its air conditioner, according to the Indianapolis Star.
An investigation by the Marion County Coroner found there were no batteries in the motorhome’s carbon monoxide detector, according to the two newspapers.
Sylvestre’s widow, Cindy Lee Sylvestre, alleges that neither Fleetwood nor Johnson provided adequate instruction about how to operate the motorhome or its safety equipment.
In the court documents written by Indianapolis attorney Gordon E. Tabor, Ms. Sylvestre also claims the motorhome was not properly inspected before it was rented to the three men.