The New York State Department of Health is investigating 9 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with the Wesley Health Care Center, located in Saratoga Springs, New York. Two of the nine people have died.

Five of about 3 dozen water samples taken at Wesley Health Care Center tested positive for Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, also referred to as legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia.  The locations that tested positive for Legionella include the Hathorn building, the Springs building and an outdoor water feature.

Bacteria Testing

The New York State Department of Health is investigating 6 additional cases in the Saratoga area. These have not been associated with Wesley Health Care Center.

There are 2 common methods used to test a patient for a Legionella infection (Legionnaires’ disease):

  • A urine antigen test
  • A sputum test, which involves collecting a sample of sputum from a patient’s lungs.

A sputum sample is required to match Legionnaires’ disease cases to an environmental source, but antibiotic treatment can hinder this, and Legionella can be difficult to culture from a sputum sample.

FAQ: Can I Sue a Hospital for Legionnaires’ Disease?

You may be able to sue a hospital for food poisoning if the evidence supports your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Attorney Eric Hageman recently won a settlement for the widow of a man who died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease while recovering from surgery. This case was not against Wesley Health Care Center.

Because our client’s husband was at the medical facility for over 10 days before onset of symptoms, we argued that contaminated water at that facility had to be the source of his Legionnaires’ pneumonia. Our client lost her husband and her best friend.

A lawsuit against a hospital can involve complex medical and legal issues. We recommend you contact a lawyer to help you understand and protect your legal rights.

FAQ: Does our Family Have a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

To determine if a family has a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer will need to investigate the case, gathering enough evidence to make the determination. With Legionnaires’ disease, patients who do not survive can have other health issues, as did the 2 people who died in the Saratoga outbreak.  This adds an extra layer of complexity, and a careful analysis of the evidence is necessary.

Bad Bug Law Team - Pritzker