14 Oct 2016 Hopkins Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit Filed against Citrus Systems
Attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client who contracted Legionnaires’ disease in August of 2016. A separate claim for his wife for loss of consortium was part of the suit. Our client is one of 23 people sickened in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak linked to a cooling tower on the Citrus Systems, Inc. facility located at 415 11th Avenue South, Hopkins, Minnesota.
Ryan and Brendan are representing 12 people sickened in this outbreak. Attorney Eric Hageman is representing the family of the person who died in this outbreak. All are attorneys at Pritzker Hageman, P.A. and can be contacted at 612-338-0202.
The lawsuit was filed on October 13, 2016, against Citrus Systems, Inc., a Minnesota company. The suit was filed in Hennepin County District Court, file no. 27-CV-16-15044. Attorney Ryan Osterholm was on Kare11 discussing the lawsuit. Watch the video here.
“We are alleging that what happened here appears to be widespread exposure to water vapor contaminated with Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease,” said Brendan. “There are guidelines for prevention of this kind of contamination. With this lawsuit, our client and his family are looking to find out how this outbreak happened and what needs to be done to prevent this from happening again.”
Once a lawsuit is filed, negotiations begin to try reach a settlement. The amount written in the court documents is “boiler plate” language used for personal injury complaints filed in a state district court. This amount is not a statement of the value of the case. In this case, our client was severely injured and we will be seeking a significant amount of money.
Brendan and Ryan are providing free consultations to people sickened in the Hopkins outbreak and their families. Our law firm is also representing 3 other people sickened in this outbreak.
The Hopkins Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak
In August of 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) began receiving multiple reports of Legionnaires’ disease cases, all with a connection to the City of Hopkins. MDH, in conjunction with the Hennepin County Public Health Department and the City of Hopkins, launched a full scale epidemiological investigation to determine the source of the illnesses.
On September 26, 2016, MDH confirmed that Citrus Systems, Inc. had cooling towers at its facility in Hopkins. MDH then obtained samples from these cooling towers.
Microbiological testing of these samples found positive bacterial growth for Legionella from one of the two cooling towers. These samples were then analyzed further using state-of-the-art genetic fingerprinting technology knowns as pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).
The DNA fingerprint of the samples from one of the two cooling towers were an exact match to the DNA fingerprints of Legionella samples from four patients who had contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Hopkins. Based on this testing and the geographic distribution of cases, MDH concluded that the outbreak, including Plaintiff’s illness, was caused by community-wide exposure to a contaminated aerosol from that cooling tower.
After Citrus Systems, Inc. chemically cleaned its water towers, the outbreak stopped.
The outbreak sickened a total of 23 people. Seventeen of those, including our client, were hospitalized, and one individual died.
Our Client Worked Near Citrus Systems
In August 2016, our client worked at Luther Hopkins Honda, a car dealership located at 250 5th S., Hopkins, Minnesota 55343. The dealership is located adjacent to the Citrus Systems facility in Hopkins. The lawsuit alleges our client was exposed to a contaminated aerosol originating from the Citrus Systems facility.
By late August of 2016, our client developed a fever and uncharacteristic fatigue, symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. He spent weeks in the hospital and has not fully recovered.
As a result of the infection, our client:
- sustained and will continue to sustain significant physical and emotional injuries, including mental anguish and the loss of enjoyment of life, now and into the future;
- has and will have substantial medical bills and rehabilitation expenses;
- has lost income and future earning capacity.
Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit Consultation
Lawyers at our law firm have won millions for victims of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. Our lawyers have offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and represent outbreak victims throughout the United States.
If you or your loved one was part of this outbreak, contact our law firm for a free lawsuit consultation. You can call 612-338-0202 or use our online free consultation form.