As buildings start to re-open this fall, deadly legionella bacteria may be lurking in the plumbing systems, where warm water has been left stagnant for several months. When inhaled, legionella bacteria cause a severe and sometimes fatal form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. Health experts are concerned that building re-openings will put people at an increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease. As part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination in the U.S., The Guardian, in partnership with Ensia at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, published a story about one of our clients who died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease at her nursing home in suburban Ohio.

Legionella Bacteria CDC
Legionella bacteria

The Dangers of Legionnaires’ Disease: A Silent Killer

When 72-year-old Sheryll Barlow became infected with legionellosis, a disease that would eventually kill her, she was one of three people who were part of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at Arlington Court Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center in Columbus, OH. Arlington Court had been aware of the problem long before Sheryll became sick. Four months before her diagnosis, another Arlington Court resident had contracted Legionnaires’ disease. Sheryll died in late February. Earlier that month, samples taken from Arlington Court’s water supply tested positive for legionella bacteria and the facility started to implement water restrictions. Our team of Legionnaires’ disease lawyers, led by attorney Eric Hageman, are representing the Barlow family.

The thing about legionella is it’s a silent killer. You can’t see it or smell it. It’s just in the air floating around. So, you have to be proactiveAttorney Eric Hageman in THE GUARDIAN, October 14th, 2020