Recent Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease Highlight the Importance of Accountability

Legionnaires’ disease | October 19, 2018

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating new cases of Legionnaires’ disease. One outbreak in Champaign County may be tied to the First Christian Church where several victims recently attended a wedding. Another outbreak occurred at the Embassy Suites in Chicago. These outbreaks are a serious health matter and anyone exposed needs to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Caught early enough, the disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Legionnaires’ disease is a deadly condition that is often caused by improper maintenance of water or air conditioning systems. The disease spreads when victims inhale water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Hotels and apartment buildings are common sites for these outbreaks, as they contain hot tubs, spa pools, showerheads, indoor fountains, irrigation systems, and other sites where water can stagnate and become contaminated. When proper prevention standards are followed, the Legionella bacteria cannot thrive. Failure to follow these standards is a sign of negligence by property owners and managers.

Holding property owners accountable

At Seidman Margulis & Fairman, LLP, we have extensive experience representing victims of Legionnaires’ disease. We have obtained results on behalf of victims of Legionnaires’ outbreaks in Illinois, including:

  • A $3.8 million jury verdict for a 64-year-old man who contracted Legionnaires’ disease from a JW Marriott hotel in downtown Chicago – the verdict was the highest recorded in a Legionnaires’ case to date
  • A $2.27 million jury verdict in federal court for the family of an 80-year-old man infected in the same outbreak
  • Multiple settlements negotiated on behalf of people exposed to Legionnaires’ disease or their surviving loved ones

Legionnaires’ disease is entirely preventable when building owners maintain their facilities properly. An outbreak represents an unconscionable failure to protect the lives of people who use the property. Tragedies like the one involving the veterans home in Quincy, wherein more than a dozen people have died in multiple outbreaks over the years, can only be prevented by forcing property owners and managers to live up to their responsibilities.

If you have been affected by Legionnaires’ disease, you deserve answers. Our attorneys have the experience you need in complicated personal injury and wrongful death cases, including those involving outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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