Lawsuit against the Opera House Hotel for Legionnaires’ Disease

You may have a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the Opera House Hotel if you or your loved one was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease in July or August of 2015, and you were in the affected area of the Bronx (see map below) within a 2-week time frame before onset of your symptoms.

Legionnaires' Opera House Hotel 2015
This map shows the affected area of the Bronx, the Opera House Hotel cooling tower and the locations of those sickened in the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Is the Opera House Hotel is the Source of the Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in the Bronx?

Legionella Bacteria
Legionella bacteria, shown here, cause Legionnaires’ disease, a severe pneumonia. We are one of the few law firms in the nation that handles a significant number of these cases and wins millions for our clients.

The evidence points clearly to the Opera House Hotel being the source of the devastating Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that sickened over 120 people and killed 12. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDH) and state, county and federal health officials conducted extensive sampling of cooling towers throughout the affected area of the Bronx. The water samples were sent to special laboratories that tested the water for Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. The result was that the laboratories matched the Legionella strain found in the Opera House Hotel cooling tower with the strain of the bacteria found in patients, according to NYCDH. They did not find the outbreak strain in any other building’s cooling tower. This is “smoking gun” evidence that the hotel’s cooling tower was the source of the outbreak illnesses.

NYCDH has also stated, “Epidemiologic and environmental investigations by the Health Department further support the conclusion that this cooling tower was the source of the outbreak.”

The NYC Department of Health continues to investigate the circumstances that led this cooling tower to become the outbreak source; inadequate maintenance and inadequate levels of biocide may have contributed.

Outbreak Timeline

  • July 8, 2015, the earliest date of onset of symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease in the South Bronx outbreak;
  • July 12, first case of Legionnaires’ disease diagnosed;
  • July 20, DOHMH investigation starts;
  • July 21-27, DOHMH disease detectives investigate cases;
  • July 28, sampling of suspected cooling towers begins;
  • July 29, Opera House Hotel tested for Legionella contamination;
  • July 30, Opera House Hotel tests positive for Legionella and DOHMH orders the cooling towers disinfected;
  • August 1, Opera House Hotel completes disinfection;
  • August 3, last case in South Bronx cluster becomes sick;
  • August 9, last case diagnosed;
  • August 20, Opera House Hotel confirmed as source of outbreak.

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Category: Legionnaires' Disease
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