A federal jury found that a camping equipment manufacturer was not responsible for the deaths of two people in 2009 who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning while using a propane heater in a tent while camping in Utah.
Steven Dowdy, 28, and Darian Thomlinson, 10, both of Colorado, died while attending a paintball event near Monte Cristo in northern Utah. They were with a group camping near Ant Flat Road in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and were found dead in their tent around 8 a.m. on June 21, 2009. Investigators said carbon monoxide from a propane radiant heater and a propane lantern used in the tent overnight caused the deaths.
Their families filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in March 2011 against the Coleman Company, which made the heater and lantern. It alleged the company's products were defective because they produced large quantities of carbon monoxide and it knew but failed to warn that they should not be used in enclosed areas like tents, campers and cabins.