Yes, you can sue a hospital for Legionnaires’ disease if the source of the illness was contaminated water at the facility or if hospital personnel failed to diagnose Legionnaires’ disease, resulting in severe illness or death. You can contact our law firm for a FREE consultation here regarding a lawsuit for compensation.
Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia caused by breathing in water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The water contamination is often a result of poorly maintained air conditioning cooling towers and potable water systems. Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious. Only those who are directly exposed to the contaminated aerosolized water source can get the disease.
Hospital patient exposure to the Legionella bacteria could occur in the shower or whirlpool area, or areas that use spray nozzles. There have also been Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks caused by contaminated air conditioning systems and water fountains.
Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit settlements include amounts for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, emotional suffering, disability and other lawful damages. In wrongful death cases, the family has the right to sue for loss of care and companionship, in addition to medical expenses, funeral expenses and lost income to the family.
Legionnaires’ Disease most frequently attacks individuals who have an underlying illness or weakened immune system. The most susceptible include persons who are elderly, smokers, and immunosuppressed. Patients at highest risk include cancer chemotherapy and transplant patients, patients on high-dose steroid therapy and patients with chronic lung disease.
Recent outbreaks of hospital-associated Legionnaires’ disease, including one involving a Veterans Hospital, underscore the importance for all healthcare facilities to ensure proper maintenance of potable water systems and cooling towers.