Five of the one hundred residents of a low-income apartment complex in Reynoldsburg, Ohio have contracted Legionnaire’s Disease, a severe form of pneumonia that is particularly dangerous to the elderly, smokers, and those with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, COPD, or cancer.
According to news sources, the Legionella bacteria that causes the disease have been found in the water system of The Seton Square East Complex at 1235 Briarcliff Road. Health officials from the Franklin County Public Health Department were called in to investigate the building in January 2017, after the fourth of the five victims became ill; a total of five residents have been diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease over the course of the last year, since April 2016. At this point, the source of the bacteria proliferation has not been found:
“’That’s part of the mystery. [I’m] not sure how Legionella can get into the water supply,’ said Charlie Broshart, Franklin County Environmental Health Manager.” (1)
Their investigation, in collaboration with BRC Properties, which runs the apartment complex, will continue until the source of the disease is identified and the water system has been fully remediated.
Legionnaire’s Disease Lawsuits Against Apartment Complexes
Legionnaire’s disease is a dangerous and yet completely preventable illness. It is contracted when the water systems in a building are poorly maintained. When dangerous Legionella pneumonia bacteria is allowed to proliferate in water systems, it is disseminated in the form of water vapor. When susceptible individuals – like the elderly residents of The Seton Square East Complex – breathe this vapor or aspirate contaminated drinking water, they can contract Legionnaire’s disease. In senior care environments, up to 50% of those who catch the disease will die.
The legal and medical issues that arise from Legionnaire’s disease infections can be complex, as our legal team has learned in dealing with these cases over many years. If you or a loved one has contracted Legionnaire’s disease during an outbreak at an apartment complex, we recommend that you contact a lawyer to see if you have grounds to file a successful personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
- Levine, Steve. “Senior Citizens Exposed to Legionnaire’s Disease.” ABC6. Web. 8 May 2017.