Our law firm is investigating the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak involving two residents of SilverCreek on Main, a SilverCrest senior living community in Maple Grove, Minnesota. SilverCreek provides independent living, assisted living and memory care services to people over the age of 55.
The first resident’s symptoms began on August 22, 2017, and the second resident’s symptoms began on September 12, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Both of the people sickened were hospitalized. Thankfully, neither died of this dangerous type of pneumonia.
Attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of Minnesotans sickened in a Hopkins Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. You can contact them for a free consultation regarding a lawsuit against SilverCrest.
What is the Source of the Legionella Bacteria that Caused the Illnesses in the SilverCreek Residents?
The focus now is on finding the source of the Legionella bacteria that caused these cases of Legionnaires’ disease, which is caused by breathing in water mist containing the bacteria.
“Available evidence indicates the source of the Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, is most likely within the building water system, though an exact source must still be determined. An assessment of the facility’s plumbing system is underway.”MDH
These kinds of investigations involve testing samples of water found throughout the building and in outdoor cooling towers. Attention should be given to areas where residents could inhale water mist, including showers, pools and hot tubs.
Samples collected are tested to find out if they contain Legionella bacteria. If found, the isolates of the bacteria are sent to a special lab for genetic testing. Our Legionnaires’ disease lawyers are some of the few in the country who have used DNA evidence to hold building owners accountable for outbreaks of illness.
Should Sickened SilverCreek Residents Sue for Compensation?
There are several reasons why it is important to sue for compensation when an older adult is sickened in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak:
- Older adults are vulnerable and they should be compensated for preventable illnesses.
- Our lawyers can get access to company documents and other evidence that may provide answers regarding water system maintenance.
- A settlement or verdict can prevent future outbreaks by sending a message that water systems need to be properly maintained.
The investigation at SilverCreek is in the early stages, and it will take time to determine the source of the Legionella that caused this outbreak.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease and How Common is it in Minnesota?
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of bacterial pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria that enter the respiratory system and settle in lobes of the lungs. The first signs of illness are fatigue and coughing. This quickly progresses until the person experiences extreme weakness, fever, severe coughing and loss of appetite.
In most years, there are about 50-60 cases in Minnesota. Most of them involve only one person, so they are not outbreaks of illness. The last major outbreak took place in 2016 in Hopkins. Our law firm is representing several people sickened in that outbreak and the family of the one person who died.
MDH has partnered with Hennepin County Public Health and the City of Maple Grove to address this outbreak and work to prevent further illnesses.