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Los Angeles Legionnaires’ Attorney

Legionnaires’ disease is a critical type of pneumonia resulting from infection by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. These bacteria flourish in water and can become a public health issue when they multiply and disseminate in artificial water systems such as cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing networks, and decorative fountains.

Legionnaires’ History

The disease was first identified in 1976 when an outbreak occurred at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, leading to the death of 34 people and illness in more than 200. This incident identified the previously unknown bacterium, Legionella pneumophila, which caused the disease.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ disease manifests through a range of symptoms that often resemble other forms of pneumonia, making early diagnosis challenging. Understanding these symptoms is crucial for prompt medical intervention. The disease typically begins with mild, flu-like symptoms and can rapidly progress to severe respiratory distress. The symptoms associated with Legionnaires’ disease include:

  • Cough: This is often persistent and can produce mucus or phlegm. Sometimes, the cough may be dry and non-productive. It can range from mild to severe, potentially leading to respiratory complications.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling out of breath may occur even with minimal physical activity and can be severe, especially as the disease progresses.
  • Fever: A high body temperature, often exceeding 102°F (39°C), often accompanied by chills and sweats, contributing to overall discomfort.
  • Muscle Aches: Pain and muscle discomfort, also known as myalgia. This can be widespread and intense, leading to significant discomfort and fatigue.
  • Headaches: These are persistent or severe headaches that can be accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness or light sensitivity.
  • Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea: Gastrointestinal symptoms may sometimes appear. These symptoms can lead to dehydration and further complications if not managed properly.

Each of these symptoms can vary in intensity and may not all be present in every individual. Early detection and appropriate medical treatment are crucial to managing the disease and preventing severe outcomes. Recognizing the signs and seeking prompt medical attention can significantly improve the chances of recovery and reduce the risk of complications.

Who is Most at Risk?

Some people have a higher risk of developing serious illnesses due to Legionnaires’ disease. These include:

  • Age: Older adults (over 50) are at higher risk.
  • Smoking: Smokers have an increased risk due to damaged lung tissue.
  • Chronic Diseases: Conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and renal or liver disease increase susceptibility.
  • Immunosuppression: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those on immunosuppressive drugs or with conditions like HIV/AIDS, are more vulnerable.

Who is Liable in a Legionnaires’ Disease Case?

Liability in a Legionnaires’ disease case can be complex and typically depends on various factors, including the source of the infection, the circumstances surrounding the outbreak, and the specific legal jurisdiction.

Generally, several parties might be held liable:

Property Owners and Managers:

  • Hotels, Apartments, and Office Buildings: Owners and managers of these properties can be held liable if they fail to maintain safe water systems.
  • Hospitals and Nursing Homes: These facilities have a higher duty of care due to the vulnerability of their residents and can be held liable for outbreaks.

Maintenance and Service Companies:

  • Water System Maintenance Firms: Companies hired to maintain and disinfect water systems can be held responsible if negligence leads to Legionella growth.
  • Cooling Tower Maintenance Services: These companies might be liable if they fail to properly maintain and clean cooling towers, which are common sources of Legionella.

Manufacturers and Suppliers:

  • Equipment Manufacturers: If defective water system equipment contributes to the growth of Legionella, manufacturers could be held liable.
  • Chemical Suppliers: Companies providing water treatment chemicals might be liable if their products are ineffective or misused.

Government and Regulatory Bodies:

  • Local and State Health Departments: Sometimes, failure to enforce health and safety regulations might lead to liability.
  • Environmental Protection Agencies: Oversight bodies might share responsibility if they fail to address known risks.

Los Angeles Legionnaires’ Statistics

Between 2013 and 2019, California had an average of one new legionellosis case annually per 100,000 people. A total of 3,159 legionellosis cases were reported during that time period, and 2,933 were determined to be Legionnaires’ disease. In 2016, California had the highest number of confirmed cases nationwide and was in the top three for 2017.

73% of California legionellosis cases from 2013 to 2019 were reported in Southern California, with Los Angeles having the highest average incidence rate per 100,000 people (1.6).

Call Us Today

Are you a Legionnaires’ disease victim? Get the support you need now. Contact us at (833) 330-3663 or message us online for a free consultation. We will thoroughly investigate your case and seek the compensation you rightfully deserve. Don’t delay – your path to justice starts with a free consultation today!

Legionnaires’ Disease Resources