Family sues Berkeley landlords after couple dies from carbon monoxide poisoning

BERKELEY (KRON) — The family of a married couple who died by carbon monoxide poisoning at their Berkeley apartment in January has filed a lawsuit against the landlords.

The wrongful death suit alleges that the deaths could have been prevented if their landlords had properly installed carbon monoxide detectors there.

Roger Morash, 35, and Valeria Morash, 32, along with their two cats, were found dead on the second floor of their apartment at 3028 Deakin St. in Berkeley on Jan. 23.

Police said they died as a result of acute carbon monoxide intoxication.

The source of the carbon monoxide has not been determined.

Susan Hanna, Roger Morash’s mother, who lives in Florida, alleges in her recent suit in Alameda County Superior Court that landlords and building owners Cindy M. Kwong and Tony M. Wong and the Kwong/Wong Family Trust were negligent by not following the California Health and Safety Code’s requirements to have a carbon monoxide detector installed near the couple’s sleeping quarters.

The suit says a carbon monoxide detector was installed on the apartment’s bottom floor but not on the second floor, where the couple was found dead.

The suit seeks unspecified general and special damages, including medical and burial costs.

Kwong and Wong couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Roger and Valerie Morash, who didn’t have any children, both attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Roger Morash was a game developer working on an adventure game called Shard.

Valerie Morash was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco.

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