Schedule your free consultation today.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

All fields are required

LET'S TALK

CALL TODAY

(833) 330-3663

Legionnaires’ Disease / Legionella Lawyer

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.

Why Choose Us?

  • We specialize in severe food poisoning cases and Legionnaires’ cases.
  • We are committed to getting clients the help they need, so that they can rebuild their lives.
  • We know what we are doing. We have significant experience handling Legionnaires’ disease cases.  We have won millions of dollars for victims.
  • We are warm. We care about our clients. Our clients feel like family to us.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease / Legionella?

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:

  • Hot tubs
  • Shower-heads and sink faucets
  • Decorative fountains and water features
  • Large plumbing systems
  • Air conditioning units for large buildings (structures that contain water and a fan as part of centralized air cooling systems for building or industrial processes)
  • Hot water tanks and heaters

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.

How Does it Cause Food Poisoning?

Symptoms

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:

  • Muscle pain
  • Fever (can be 104 F or higher)
  • Headache
  • Chills

Around the second or third day, other signs and symptoms may develop:

  • Cough, which may bring up mucus and sometimes blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion or other mental changes
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Occasionally, the disease can cause infections in wounds and other parts of the body, including the heart

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.

How Is It Spread?

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 outbreaks have been caused by the following:

  • Grocery store mist machines
  • Decorative fountains
  • Water systems in hotels, hospitals and nursing homes
  • Cooling towers in air conditioning systems
  • Hot tubs and whirlpools on cruise ships
  • Physical therapy equipment
  • Swimming pools

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.

Typical Defendants in Lawsuits?

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 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.

Recent Outbreaks

When City Location Number of ppl Affected
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
June 2018 Columbus, OH Whitehall VA Ambulatory Care Center – source still under investigation (closed water fountains) 2 infected
June 2018 Honolulu, HI Queen’s Medical Center 4 infected, 4 hospitalizations, 1 death

How Do I Know if I Have a Claim?

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:

  • You were exposed to legionella bacteria that causes disease
  • The exposure to legionella bacteria happened while at the premises belonging to the defendant
  • The exposure occurred due to negligence on behalf of the owner or operator of the premises (failing to clean/test water sources for legionella bacteria)
  • The exposure to legionella led you to contract Legionnaires’ disease (confirmed diagnosis)

Legal Rights of Legionella Infection Victims

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 costs, hospital stay, reparation for lost wages, any injuries sustained due to the disease, pain and suffering, and/or damages for wrongful death.

What To Do if You Think you Have a Case

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:

  • Obtaining all relevant medical reports
  • Investigating the scene of the exposure
  • Collecting reports completed by the local health department and/or state and federal agencies who conducted investigations
  • Interviewing witnesses and other victims that acquired the disease as well
  • Estimating the value of your personal injury
  • Negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company
  • Representing you during trial, if necessary
  • Hiring qualified experts to testify and provide their expert opinion

How Do You Find the Source of a Legionnaires Disease Outbreak?

This task is easiest to complete when you are part of a major outbreak, because government health agencies 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 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.

Get Experienced Legal Representation

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 lawyer who has a reputation for success in handling Legionnaires’ cases. Call 1 (833) 330-3663 or fill out our online contact form. We offer free, no obligation legal consultations to discuss your potential case.

Practice Areas