Lawsuit Claims Legionnaires’ Disease Death Caused by Hospital

Parents of a child who died from Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria, have filed a lawsuit Child Dies from Legionnella Pneumonia from Hospitalagainst University of California, San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF).  Their young son, only months old, was at UCSF from April 17 to May 16, 2013, after a transplant, according to the suit filed on October 23. He died in May from Legionnaires’ disease.

People contract Legionnaires’ pneumonia by breathing in water mist contaminated with Legionella pneumophila bacteria. Testing performed after the baby’s death found Legionella in the plumbing system of the hospital, including in the room where the baby had been staying.

“Legionnaires’ victims and their families have the right to sue a hospital that has been linked to the illness,” said Fred Pritzker, who recently won $3 million for a family who lost a loved one to the disease. In that case, water at the building was the source of two illnesses that occurred only months before Fred’s client contracted Legionnaires’ and died.

“The investigation of Legionella pneumonia cases is aided by a process called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, referred to as PFGE,” said Fred. “To find the source of the illness, it is important to determine the strain or “subtype” of Legionella pneumophila that sickened the patient. PFGE does this by fragmenting Legionella DNA with enzymes and separating those fragments with an electrical field. The result is a genetic fingerprint of the Legionella bacteria that caused the illness. This same process is then done on water samples from suspect buildings. If the DNA fingerprints are a match, it is solid evidence that the illness was caused by that water source.”

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman are our lead lawyers for our Legionnaires’ disease lawsuits. They have experience both negotiating settlements and winning cases at trial. You can contact them for a free consultation (click here now).

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Category: Legionnaires' Disease
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