A cooling tower on the Citrus Systems Inc. facility in Hopkins, MN, has been linked to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that has sickened at least 23 people who live, work or visited Hopkins, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH):
“Laboratory testing showed the strain of Legionella bacteria found in one of the cooling towers matched the strain of bacteria in samples taken from patients linked to the outbreak. Legionella bacteria cause Legionnaires’ disease. Other cooling towers in the outbreak area were sampled, but did not have the specific Legionella strain identified.”
Citrus Systems Inc. operates a 135,000 square foot beverage processing and packaging facility located at 415 11th Avenue South, Hopkins, Minnesota, just south of Excelsior Blvd. and west of Highway 169.
“The MDH Public Health Laboratory found positive bacterial growth for Legionella from one of Citrus Systems’ two towers. Isolates were then analyzed further, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis testing and whole genome sequencing to obtain a DNA fingerprint of the specific strain. The DNA fingerprint of the isolates exactly matched the DNA fingerprint of Legionella isolates from four patients.” –MDH
Breathing in even a few cells of Legionella traveling in water mist can cause Legionnaires’ pneumonia.
Our law firm is representing 12 of the people sickened in this outbreak and the family of the one person who died. Our clients suffered lung injury from Legionnaires’ pneumonia. Attorneys Ryan Osterholm and Brendan Flaherty are providing victims and their families free consultations (click here). They are planning on filing a lawsuit this week.
The 23 people sickened in this outbreak had illness onset dates ranging from Aug. 4 to September 22, 2016. All of them lived in, worked in or visited Hopkins in the week before onset of illness, according to MDH.
“Right now, cooling towers are not regulated in Minnesota,” said attorney Ryan Osterholm. “Our law firm is urging legislators to take steps to regulate them and require regular maintenance and testing to help prevent future outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. This outbreak and the general increase in cases highlights the need for quick action.”
Pritzker Hageman, P.A., is a Twin Cities law firm with offices in Minneapolis. Attorneys Ryan Osterholm and Brendan Flaherty are two of our lead lawyers for our Legionnaires’ disease cases. You can contact them for a free consultation.