Benjamin Smith, a 42-year-old plumber and father of three from Santee, CA died on March 1 of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia. His wife Jessa told 10News San Diego that she is trying to find out how her husband contracted the disease. Smith’s is one of 15 Legionnaires’ disease cases and three fatalities have been reported in San Diego County this year.
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People get Legionnaires‘ disease when they inhale water droplets that are contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Jess told 10News that it’s likely her husband was exposed to the bacteria through his work as a plumber.
Smith was admitted to the ICU of an area hospital on February 16 where he battled the infection for weeks. His death certificate listed Legionella pneumonia, severe sepsis, and COVID pneumonia, according to 10News.
Three days after Smith’s death, San Diego State University Professor Michael Buono died of Legionnaires’ disease. Buono also contracted the infection in February. The university is located southwest of Santee, about a 15-minute drive on the I-8. At this time health officials do not believe the deaths are related.
Yesterday, a state building in Mission Valley, about 10 minutes west of the campus, was closed because someone in the building has Legionnaires’ disease.
Each year, about 60 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported in San Diego County,
Contact an Experienced Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyer
Pritzker Hageman is one of the few law firms in the country with experience representing clients in Legionnaires’ disease lawsuits. Our Legionnaires’ lawyers represent Legionella outbreak victims and their families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. For a free consultation with the Pritzker Hageman Legionnaires’ Legal Team, please call 1-888-377-8900, text 612-261-0856, or fill out the form below.