The Opera House Hotel cooling tower is the source of the Legionnaires’ disease (Legionella pneumonia) outbreak in the South Bronx, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). Testing laboratories have matched the Legionella strain found in the Opera House Hotel cooling tower with the strain found in patients.
A cooling tower contains water and is used by some buildings as part of their air conditioning, ventilation and/or heating systems. If the water in a cooling tower gets contaminated with Legionella bacteria, breathing in that water (in the form of mist) can cause Legionnaires’ disease, also referred to as Legionella pneumonia or legionellosis.
Our law firm is helping people sickened in the outbreak and their families get compensation and justice.
The Opera House Hotel needs to take responsibility and pay medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, cost of care and other damages. In addition, families of those killed in the outbreak need to be compensated for their losses.
To date, there are 124 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease. Of those 94 were treated and release and 12 lost their lives.
Although all of the people who tragically died in this outbreak were adults with underlying medical conditions, the Legionella pneumonia shortened their lives. Families were cheated out of time with loved ones. These families may have the right to pursue wrongful death claims.
Hotels are a common location of Legionnaires’ outbreaks. The Health Department continues to investigate the circumstances that led to this cooling tower to become the outbreak source. If you live in the area and experience respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills and muscle aches, seek medical attention right away.
Opera House Hotel Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Timeline
- July 20, 2015, 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 20, Opera House Hotel confirmed as source of outbreak.
Do You Have a Lawsuit?
You and your family may have the right to sue the owner of the Opera House Hotel, and perhaps others (companies associated with the installation and maintenance of the cooling tower) for personal injury or wrongful death. You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or click here now for legal help.