Yes, you can sue if your loved died from Legionnaires’ disease, also called Legionella pneumonia, if:
- There is evidence connecting the deadly lung infection to a building’s water system; and
- Under state wrongful death laws, you are “next of kin,” which generally includes a husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, grandparent, grandchild and others.
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How to Prove a Case
To prove a case, water throughout a building, including any cooling towers, needs to be tested for Legionella bacteria, and if it is found, isolates of that bacteria need to be tested to determine the unique DNA pattern of that isolate. If that DNA pattern matches one from a Legionella isolate obtained from your loved one, that is strong evidence that the building’s water made that person sick, and you and other family members would the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation, which can include amounts for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, disability and other damages.
Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit against Hotel Results in Wrongful Death Settlement
The victim was celebrating her 40th wedding anniversary with her husband at a hotel in Las Vegas when she inhaled Legionella bacteria while using the Jacuzzi in the hotel room. Shortly thereafter, she was hospitalized, and she passed away only a week later, leaving her family struggling to find answers.
The attorneys Pritzker and Hageman set out to help the family find those answers. Ultimately, they were able to show that, not only was the hotel directly responsible for this beloved woman’s death, but that the hotel knew legionella was present in its water system months prior to the victim’s stay. When it became clear the hotel could have easily prevented this tragedy by taking reasonable preventive measures, Pritzker and Hageman sought to expose the hotel’s conscious disregard for the safety of its guests.
“The most egregious aspect of this case was that the victim and her husband had no way to know of, or prevent, this risk. They could not have known they were putting their lives at stake, simply by staying in a hotel room. On the other hand, the hotel was in position to prevent what happened, but it entirely failed to do so. Our entire case was about holding the hotel accountable for its willful disregard for this woman’s life.”Attorney Eric Hageman
Hotels are a common source of outbreaks. In fact, the bacterium was first discovered at a 1976 American Legion Convention where 34 individuals died and over 200 people fell sick after being exposed to the bacterium during their stay at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.
Thise family in this case suffered an enormous loss, which was compounded by the hotel’s senseless disregard for the safety of its guests. Although the woman, a mother, wife, sister and grandmother, could never be replaced, Eric Hageman and Fred Pritzker helped force hotel accountability and aided the family on the long road toward healing from such a tremendous loss.
Eric Hageman and Fred Pritzker represent people nationwide. They understand the complex legal issues surrounding Legionella lawsuits and have experience handling cases just like yours. They understand the fear and shock that Legionella victims experience and the need to bring negligent parties to justice.
“The scary part about these cases is that you never know if you are safe or not.” attorney Hageman said. “Of course, you assume, when you check into a hotel or a hospital, that there are no hidden dangers, but you have no way to know for sure and there is almost nothing you can do to protect yourself. But these businesses can protect you from dangers like Legionella, and they have the legal obligation to do so.”