A resident at NorthPointe Health Centre in Fresno County, California has died from Legionnaire’s disease, a severe but highly preventable form of pneumonia. NorthPointe Health Centre is located on East Bullard Avenue in Fresno.
Fresno County health officials began investigating the death on January 23rd. Until the source of the disease is identified and remediated, NorthPointe administrators have been instructed to provide bottle water for consumption, use sterile water in respiratory equipment, and avoid the use of their ice machines. The facility has also, according to administrator Carrie Vigil, installed point-of-use shower filters. Before February 6th, she explained:
“… bed baths were being provided with bottled water and gentle skin wipes to ensure residents received appropriate care.“ (1)
Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Legionnaire’s Disease?
Legionnaire’s disease 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 – the elderly, smokers, those with compromised immune systems, or people with conditions like respiratory disease or diabetes – breathe this vapor or aspirate contaminated drinking water, they can contract Legionnaire’s disease. In nursing home 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 quite complicated, 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 at a nursing home, we recommend that you contact a lawyer to see if you have grounds to file a successful personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Legionnaire’s Disease in Fresno County Nursing Homes
NorthPointe Health Centre is the second Fresno-area nursing home to be struck with Legionnaire’s disease in the last two months. A resident at Horizon Health & Subacute Center was diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease in January, but fortunately recovered. Investigators subsequently found Legionella pneumonia bacteria in the facility’s water system. According to Dr. Kenneth Bird, health official for Fresno County, Horizon will remain on water restrictions “until the planned remediation can be carried out, which is expected very soon.”
1. Anderson, Barbara. “Fresno nursing home patient dies of Legionnaires’ disease.” The Fresno Bee. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.