Family of Man Who Died from Legionella Pneumonia Awarded $3 Million
The family of an 87-year-old man who was killed by Legionnaires’ disease has been awarded a $3 million settlement. The decedent’s wife and adult children said he died from Legionella Pneumonia due to inhaling the bacteria at a California hotel hot tub. The man was a guest at the hotel and visited the hotel spa but did not get into the water. When he returned to his home, he got sick and was admitted to the hospital, but later passed away.
Before the decedent’s stay, the hotel was warned and notified numerous times of California Health and Safety Code violations related to water quality and spa maintenance, including improper safety and water control equipment. An inspection and investigation by their county department of public health determined that the spa had tested positive for legionella bacterium. The health department closed the hotel spa to the public and suspended the hotel’s health permit.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe lung inflammation usually caused by a bacteria called legionella. An individual can catch Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling the bacteria from soil or water.
Older adults, people who smoke or have a weakened immune system are highly vulnerable to Legionnaires’ disease. If left untreated, the disease can be deadly. Although immediate treatment generally cures Legionnaires’ disease, some people continue to have lifelong health problems.
Legal Liability and Claims
Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks have been linked to water systems, indoor pools and spas, hot water heaters, cooling systems, fountains, and humidifiers in past decades. Owners and management of any property where an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has been identified could face possible legal liability and claims.
The death rate of one Legionnaires’ disease outbreak can range from 20 and 40 percent, which means a single exposure can infect hundreds of people. The potential exposure of the responsible party can be substantial.
Jury awards and settlements have ranged from $225,000 to $5.2 million. These awards are meant to compensate the decedents’ survivors and reimburse those suffering from the disease for their medical bills, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering.
Proving Damages in a Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit
To successfully win a lawsuit against the at-fault party responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, the following must be proved:
- The injured person was exposed to the bacteria that caused the disease
- The exposure happened at the property
- The owner or manager of the premise was negligent
- The exposure resulted in a confirmed diagnosis of the disease
Settlements and verdicts are generally awarded based on the following factors:
- Whether the responsible party is insured against such claims
- The severity of the disease and future health complications of the person
- The age and occupation of the individual
- The potential loss of current and future income due to ongoing health issues
To pursue a claim, reach out to a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney for guidance.
Do I Really Need an Attorney for My Case?
Personal injury lawyers are your advocates. They work hard on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. After an accident, it can be overwhelming to know how to proceed with the aftermath. An injury lawyer will guide you through the entire process, so it won’t seem so daunting. An attorney can help you get back on track after an accident by negotiating with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit in court if needed. When you hire a law firm, your chances of receiving monetary compensation increase. Your legal counsel will be able to negotiate with the insurance companies to get a fair settlement on your behalf.
Watch YouTube Video: Legionnaires’ Disease: What You Need to Know. The following video by Mayo Clinic discusses Legionnaires’ disease and explains what you need to know about it.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. If you were hurt or a family member has died due to someone else’s negligence, please reach out to us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly, and compassionate advice. You can also reach us through our online contact form.
Our Sacramento law firm has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Image by Edward Lich from Pixabay
cha llo [cs 751] bw