Lawyer Representing Hopkins, MN Legionnaires’ Disease Victims

October 12, 2016, Update: The source of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak is a cooling tower on the Citrus Systems, Inc. facility in Hopkins, according to MDH. Contact our law firm about a lawsuit.

Our law firm is representing 12 people sickened in the Legionniares’ disease outbreak in Hopkins, Minnesota. We are also representing the family of the person who died.

“We are waiting for test results to determine the sources of this outbreak. Guidelines published by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have been in place for at least 15 years.  The Guidelines are a simple roadmap for businesses to follow to eradicate Legionella bacteria.  Unfortunately, the Guidelines are not widely followed and this kind of outbreak demonstrates the need for legislative intervention on the state and national level.”

Minnesota Department of Health investigators have announced that three more cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been associated with the ongoing outbreak in Hopkins, Minnesota. This brings the victim count to 20, making this Legionnaires’ disease outbreak the second-largest one in state history. (1) (September 30 update: There are now 23 people sickened in the outbreak.)

To date, 16 people have been hospitalized, and one person has died in the Hopkins outbreak. Nineteen other people who lived in, worked in, or visited Hopkins since early August have also become ill. They range in age from 29 to 97 years old. Assistant state epidemiologist Richard Danila warns that more cases may yet be diagnosed:

“We’re seeing the sickest people, most of [whom] were hospitalized and who get tested for Legionnaires’ disease … There are probably other cases out there of pneumonia who did not get tested for Legionnaires’ disease.” (1)

Legionella bacteria are commonly found in the environment, and seldom pose a threat to young, healthy people. However, these bacteria can be life-threatening to people who are older than 50, smokers, have compromised immune systems, or have underlying illnesses such as COPD, other respiratory illness, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, or HIV.

Legionnaires Pneumonia
This is a lung section specimen under a magnification of 500X. It shows the presence an intra-alveolar exudate containing macrophages, and polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes in a case of Legionellosis, due to the bacterium, Legionella pneumophila.

When a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak occurs in the community, sources often include poorly maintained, complex water systems such as cooling towers, plumbing systems, grocery store misters, or decorative fountains. Cooling towers turned out to be in culprit in Minnesota’s first major Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks, in 1995. The first 1995 cluster appeared in Luverne, when 24 people were taken ill. Later that year, 17 people in Mankato also contracted the disease, which had spread via water vapor aerosolized from poorly maintained cooling towers.

At present, a definitive source for the Hopkins has not been identified. Investigators are testing and disinfecting possible sources within a two-mile radius of the outbreak’s epicenter at the intersection of Highway 169 and Excelsior Boulevard. Potential sources include the Thermotech plastic injection facility, the Supervalu warehouse, and a decorative fountain owned by Cargill.

Hopkins Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit

Pritzker Hageman law firm is currently investigating and representing victims of the Hopkins outbreak. As a Minnesota-based law firm with national experience in Legionnaires’ disease wrongful death and personal injury settlements, our attorneys have immediate access to key local data that is strengthened by our larger network of connections / expert witnesses in the area of outbreak investigation.



1. Benson, Lorna. “Legionnaires’ disease cluster in Hopkins increases to 20 cases.” MPRNews. Web. 27 Sep. 2016.

Share this article:

Category: Legionnaires' Disease
Ready to talk?

We're here to listen. Tell us what happened to you.

We are not paid unless you win. Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Related Articles