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If you or a loved one have been affected by Legionnaires’ disease or has been exposed to Legionella bacteria, you may be entitled to compensation. Protect your rights and make sure you obtain the justice that you deserve for your injuries by contacting our highly skilled team of Legionnaires’ disease lawyers at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC today.
Legionnaires’ Disease is a potentially fatal infectious disease caused by a type of bacterium called Legionella. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bacteria is naturally found in lakes and streams, but becomes a concern when it grows in man-made water systems such as:
The CDC reports that home and car air-conditioning units are not at risk for Legionella growth because they do not use water as a source for cooling the air.
Legionnaires’ disease is preventable by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting water sources, but a claim can only be successful if you have proof that shows you were harmed due to the other party’s negligence in not doing so.
Here is what you must be able to show evidence of in order to have a legionella claim:
Since Legionnaires’ disease can be prevented by routine cleaning and safety procedures, you have the right to hold the liable party responsible for your affliction. Specifically, you may be entitled to sue in order to receive compensation for your medical bills, hospital stay, reparation for lost wages, any injuries sustained due to the disease, pain and suffering, and/or damages for wrongful death.
Get experienced help right away. In order to pursue your claim, you will need a knowledgeable Legionnaires’ disease lawyer who can immediately assist you and take the burden off of your shoulders. They will be responsible for:
This task is easiest to complete when you are part of a major outbreak, because government health agencies and health officials will step in to conduct testing in order to put a stop to the mounting illnesses by discovering the source.
What do you do then if yours is an individual case? Symptoms do not begin until two to 10 days after you have inhaled the contaminated water, there are so many water sources that you will have come into contact with during that time so it’s difficult to know where to start.
Begin by notifying and reaching out to your local and state public health department to see if there are any resources at your disposal. Then determine the first day you began noticing symptoms of the disease and begin creating a thoroughly detailed written history of your activities and locations visited in the two weeks prior. This will help with being able to trace all of the potential water sources you may have come into contact with. By process of elimination, try to narrow down the possible sources.
Once sources are narrowed down, request permission to take samples in order to conduct your own testing. You can buy testing kits online through private testing companies. They will send you the kit with instructions on how to perform a swab test, then send the kit back to receive results on whether or not there was bacteria present.
Discovering the source of your infection is of the utmost importance to your case, as without that knowledge there is no party to name as a defendant for your claim.
In the U.S., the CDC monitors legionella outbreaks and offers access to selected data. While not a full accounting of cases of Legionnaires disease, it does give us a general idea of where the problem is greatest. From 2009 – 2020, the database contains 501 Legionella outbreaks that led to 2,823 illnesses, 1,716 hospitalizations, and 216 deaths.
Florida reported more than twice as many legionella outbreaks as the next closest state. However, more people fell ill or were killed in Illinois than in any other state.
When a setting was listed on a reported outbreak, hotels and hospitals were the most common setting for legionella outbreaks to occur.
Typically the water source’s property owner and possibly the party that has been negligent in cleaning the water source and/or not testing the water for the presence of the Legionella bacteria, are defendants in Legionella cases due to their negligence. In previous Legionnaires’ Disease lawsuits, parties have included property owners, architects and engineers, cleaning companies, water heater manufacturers, plumbers, employers, general contractors, hotels, spas, hospitals, health clubs, prisons, assisted living facilities, and other large institutional facilities.
Symptoms tend to develop within two to 10 days after exposure to legionella bacteria. The following signs and symptoms is how Legionnaires’ disease typically begins:
Around the second or third day, other signs and symptoms may develop:
Legionnaires’ disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics, but it will develop into pneumonia for most who contract it and will require a hospital stay to fully recover.
You could also experience Pontiac fever, which is a mild form of Legionnaires’ disease. The difference being that Pontiac fever doesn’t infect the lungs. Symptoms include a fever, chills, headache and muscle aches. They will last anywhere from two to five days.
Legionella grows and multiplies in water that is not properly maintained and makes its way into people’s lungs by way of microscopic water droplets in the air. These droplets containing bacteria are inhaled; this can happen by a variety of sources. Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, past disease outbreaks have been caused by the following:
Acquiring Legionnaires’ or Pontiac Fever from accidentally inhaling contaminated water while drinking it can happen, but is uncommon. Also, very rarely is the disease spread person to person.
The CDC reports that Legionnaires’ disease cases have been steadily rising since the year 2000. In 2016, the U.S. had 6,100 cases of the disease reported and that’s not including an estimate of how often it is not diagnosed. Summer and early fall is when the illness tends to be discovered, but it can occur any time throughout the year.
Below are a sampling of recent Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks and investigations from across the United States. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and not all investigations could determine the source of the outbreak.
|When||City or State||Location||Number Affected|
|July, 2022||Napa County, CA||Cooling Towers||13 Infected, 1 Death|
|June, 2022||Wake County, NC||Hotel||3 hotel guests were diagnosed|
|June, 2022||The Bronx, NY||Highbridge Neighborhood Cooling Towers||30 confirmed Infected, 2 deaths|
|May, 2022||Waikiki, HI||Resort in Waikiki||5 Infected involving guests|
|March, 2022||Palm Springs, CA||Unknown Source in Coachella Valley||20 confirmed Infected, 2 deaths|
|January, 2022||Missouri||Hospital||4 Infected|
|December, 2021||Indiana||Correctional Facility||7 Infected, 1 death|
|October, 2021||Troy Hills, New Jersey||Water System of a Local Hotel||3 Infected|
|October, 2021||Beaverton, OR||Local Apartment Complex Hot Tub||6 Infected|
|October, 2021||Long Island, NY||Undetermined||10 Infected and 1 death|
|October, 2021||Somers, CT||Prison||2 Infected|
|October, 2021||Merrimack Valley, MA||Restaraunt||2 Infected, 1 death|
|August, 2021||Harlem, NY||Cooling Towers in a “cluster area”||18 Infected|
|August, 2021||North Carolina||Sports Camp Training room at a NC University||84 Infected|
|August, 2021||Bangor, Maine||Undetermined||4 Infected|
|August, 2021||Cruise Ship||Cruise Ship||2 Infected|
|July, 2021||Essex County, NJ||Outdoor Exposure||8 Infected|
|July, 2021||Across Rhode Island||Reopening of COVID Closure Buildings||30 Infected, 1 death|
|July, 2021||Chicago, IL||No common source, undetermined||49 Infected, 2 Deaths|
|July, 2021||Across Michigan||Combination of heavy rainfall, hot weather, and stagnant water in buildings reopened after the pandemic.||107 Infected|
|July, 2021||Albert Lea, MN||Hotel Pool and Hot Tub Area||2 Infected|
|June, 2021||Portland, OR||Senior Living Center||2 Infected|
|April, 2021||Macon, MO||Hotel||2 Infected|
|April, 2021||Indianapolis, IN||Sports and Fitness Facility||Several Infected|
|February, 2021||Union City, New Jersey||Undertermined||14 Infected, 1 Death|
|January, 2021||Portland, OR||Senior Living Center||9 Infected, 1 Death|
|October, 2020||Pontiac, Illinois||Correctional Facility||2 Infected|
|October, 2020||Perkin, Illinois||Senior Living Center||3 Infected, 1 Death|
|September, 2020||Pontiac, Illinois||Pontiac Correctional Facility||2 Infected|
|September, 2020||Tazewell County, IL||Community Cases||4 Infected|
|August, 2020||Hamilton Township, NJ||Undetermined||4 Infected, 2 Deaths|
|February, 2020||Columbus, OH||Nursing and Rehab Center||2 Infected|
|February, 2020||Lake County, IL||Senior Living Center||5 Infected, 1 Death|
|January, 2020||Sumterville, FL||Correctional Facility||23 Infected|
|January, 2020||Plainfield, IL||Nursing and Rehab Center||2 Infected|
|January, 2020||Carol Stream, IL||Retirement Community||3 Infected|
|January, 2020||Chicago, IL||Nursing Home||2 Infected|
|January, 2020||Winfield, IL||Hospital||3 Infected|
|November, 2019||Elmira, NY||Cooling Tower||13 Infected|
|November, 2019||Hot Springs, AR||Apartment Complex||2 Infected|
|October, 2019||Salem, MA||Apartment Complex||2 Infected|
|October, 2019||Jefferson Parish, LA||Hospital Water System||2 Infected|
|October, 2019||Columbus, OH||Not Confirmed, Hosptial Suspected||3 Infected|
|October, 2019||Danville, PA||Neonatal Intensive Care Unit||8 Infected, 3 Deaths (all infants)|
|September, 2018||Washington, D.C.||Ingleside at Rock Creek Retirement Community, source still under investigation||2 Infected|
|September, 2018||Providence, Rhode Island||Summit Commons||3 Infected|
|September, 2018||Sioux Falls, ND||Still under investigation||14 Infected, 14 hospitalizations, 1 death|
|August, 2018||Hampton, NH||Sands Hotel, other locations still under investigation||15 Infected and 1 death|
|July, 2018||New York City (Washington Heights), NY||Cooling tower in neighborhood||27 Infected, 25 hospitalizations, 1 death|
|July, 2018||Cleveland, OH||Under investigation||11 Infected, 10 hospitalizations, 1 death|
|July, 2018||Palm Springs, CA||Four Seasons 55+ Community – pools||2 Infected|
|July, 2018||Detroit, MI||Wayne State University- 3 cooling tower systems & 3 bathrooms||3 Infected|
|June, 2018||McHenry County, IL||Still under investigation||12 Infected, 5 hospitalizations|
|Jun-18||Columbus, OH||Whitehall VA Ambulatory Care Center||2 Infected|
|Jun-18||Honolulu, HI||Queen’s Medical Center||4 Infected, 4 hospitalizations, 1 death|
If you think you or a loved one has been contaminated by Legionella bacteria, then time is of the essence. Contact The Lange Law Firm, PLLC to speak with a Legionnaires’ disease lawyer who has a reputation for success in handling these types of cases. Call (833) 330-3663 or fill out our online contact form. We offer free, no obligation legal consultations to discuss your potential case.