New York City Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyer
If your family has been affected by a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, you need to act fast. This potentially deadly form of pneumonia has struck victims in cities throughout the country, and the number of reported cases is rising. At Douglas & London, we represent people who died or were made seriously ill by outbreaks of this disease across the east coast. In New York City, Washington Heights and Co-Op City in the Bronx have been hot spots.
Legionnaires outbreaks hospitalize thousands of people each year, killing approximately 10 percent of all those affected. If you were exposed to Legionella bacteria or lost a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us at Douglas & London, P.C. to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
What Is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by exposure to legionella bacteria. Typically, it can be found in water systems, including swimming pools, air conditioners, mist sprayers, or the ventilation system of large buildings. Most people become infected after inhaling microscopic water droplets containing the bacteria. And in the majority of cases, the outbreaks are attributed to poor water management.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease usually become present within 2-14 days of exposure and may include:
- High fever
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Loss of coordination
- Mental confusion
Individuals over 50, smokers or those with chronic lung disease or a weakened immune system are much more likely to contract Legionnaires’ disease. In some cases, it can lead to fatal complications such as respiratory failure, kidney failure, or septic shock.
Where Do Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks Occur?
Legionella bacteria usually grow in warm, humid environments. The bacteria can flourish in water that is stagnant and lacks sufficient disinfection High-risk areas for legionella bacteria include hot tubs, fountains, showers, cooling towers, and swimming pools. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, outbreaks may be linked to water from faucets (showers or taps), aerosol (mist) sources, Jacuzzis, and industrial cooling towers found within:
- Cruise ships
- Hotels and resorts
- Industrial facilities
- Residential buildings
Who is liable for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease?
Areas of the Bronx and greater New York City have endured five outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease in the past decade. More than 150 people have developed this potentially life-threatening pneumonia, raising issues of legal liability.
In most cases, that liability rests with the property owners, managers, or operators of the premises where the Legionnaires outbreak occurred, whether it was a motel, hotel, community center, apartment complex, hospital, nursing facility, or other settings. Every New York property or business owner has a legal obligation to ensure their premises are free of known hazards and safe for visitors and patrons. This duty includes ensuring that indoor water systems and cooling towers are properly cleaned and maintained to prevent harmful bacterial growth.
There are other parties that may be held responsible for damages in a Legionnaires’ lawsuit following an outbreak. For example, evidence may indicate that certain entities who maintained, installed, designed, or repaired the building’s water systems where the outbreak took place acted with negligence, which accelerated the spread of the Legionella bacterium.
Through in-depth investigations, our attorneys can determine if water supplies were routinely tested and disinfected according to safety protocols. When negligence on the part of property owners endangers your health, we can help you file a Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit to seek appropriate compensation.
Proving liability for a Legionnaires’ disease infection
New York has strict health and safety guidelines designed to prevent outbreaks of this serious disease. After being diagnosed with Legionnaires, our attorneys will examine the site of exposure to prove liability for a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.
A valid claim for damages requires compelling that is obtained through:
- Epidemiological and environmental reports that show the presence of Legionella bacteria from the local or state health department, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Maintenance records from the building’s water systems
- A history of non-compliance with cleaning and disinfection protocols
- Medical reports that detail your infection, prognosis, and treatment plan
- Testimony from expert witnesses on the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York
- Witness testimony
Our legal team must conclusively prove that the Legionella bacteria was present when you were on the property and that some person or entity breached a standard of care, resulting in your illness and economic damages.
Potential Compensation in a Legionnaires’ Lawsuit
A Legionnaires attorney can assess the true value of your claim and negotiate a fair settlement reflecting past, current, and future losses.
We will help you pursue maximum compensation for:
- Medical and hospital expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Disability stemming from infection complications
Consult with a Bronx Legionnaires’ disease attorney
The Legionnaires’ Disease lawyers at Douglas & London, P.C. can help you determine your legal rights if you have been exposed to this dangerous bacterium. We are a nationwide law firm in New York, NY, that can help you no matter where you live. Call us or complete our free initial consultation form for a free consultation. We offer results-focused representation on a contingency fee basis. There are zero upfront costs, and you pay no attorney fees if we do not win or settle your case.