Legionnaires’ disease is a severe lung infection that spreads in water droplets in the air. Outbreaks at hotels, hospitals, and other places have resulted in multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements.
Need a Texas Legionnaires Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks
- Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas – 2 people infected in March and April 2017
- Lenox Hill neighborhood in New York City – 7 people infected, 1 death in June 2017
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is an infection with Legionella, a bacteria that spreads in the air and causes severe pneumonia (lung infection). The bacteria can also cause a less-serious illness called Pontiac fever with symptoms similar to a mild case of the flu.
Outbreaks of Legionnaires’
Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease are usually associated with large buildings or structures that have complex water systems, such as:
- Long-term care facilities
- Cruise ships
- Heart surgery heater-cooler machines
Jury Awards $1 Million Settlement in Legionnaires’ Lawsuits
In May 2017, a jury in Lehigh County awarded $1.1 million to five people who developed Legionnaires’ disease during an outbreak in October 2013 at South Whitehall Medical Center in Pennsylvania. All of the victims spent time near a decorative fountain that later tested positive for Legionella. Two of the victims died of the illness.
$100 Million Class Action Filed Over Flint Legionnaires’ Outbreak
In February 2016, a $100 million class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of McLaren Flint Hospital patients who developed Legionnaires’ disease. The outbreak spiked in 2014 when the city of Flint, Michigan switched its water supply to the Flint River water treatment. At least 12 victims died of Legionnaires’ disease.
How Does Legionella Spread?
Legionella is naturally found in fresh water, but it rarely causes illness from environmental exposure. Instead, most illnesses occur in man-made environments like hotels or hospitals where Legionella grows in the air conditioning system or tap water.
How Do You Catch Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from person-to-person. Infections are caused by breathing in small droplets of water that contain Legionella. The most common sources of infection for Legionella are water used for showering, cooling towers and air conditioning systems in hotels and large buildings, decorative fountains, and hot tubs.
Signs & Symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Flu-like symptoms
Doctors will use a chest X-ray or a physical exam to look for signs of pneumonia. Legionnaires’ disease may also be diagnosed with a sample of urine or phlegm to see if it contains Legionella.
Legionnaires’ disease is treated with antibiotics (medications that kill bacteria). Because it is a serious illness, treatment requires hospitalization. Most people make a full recovery, but even with treatment, about 10% of cases of Legionnaires’ disease are deadly.
What People Have the Highest Risk?
It is rare for healthy people to get Legionnaires’ disease when they are exposed to the bacteria. Most cases occur in people over 60 years old who are already sick. Risk-factors that increase the chances include:
- Current or former smoker
- Having a chronic lung disease like emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Having a weak immune system for diseases like cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure
- Taking medication that weakens the immune system
Need a Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Legionnaires’ disease lawyers for a free lawsuit review.