Could Legionnaire’s Outbreak Lead to Wrongful Death Claim?

Healthcare professionals here in Connecticut are responsible for the medical care of families who rely on them. When that trust fails, innocent people are at risk. Expanding on a story we first brought you back on March 17 (“Potential wrongful death claim relating to Legionnaires disease”), another case of Legionnaire’s disease has been discovered in the same neighboring state as the previous case. The hospital at the center of this newest outbreak may face a wrongful death suit after a patient died due to the disease.

When the hospital first discovered that two patients who fell ill and the one who passed away had Legionnaire’s, they tested their water supply. Though that is the typical source for Legionella — the bacteria that causes the disease — the tests came back negative. Eventually, they discovered that the bacteria was in their ice machines.

The hospital responded by removing and replacing the contaminated machines, but their efforts were too late to save the life of the patient. Though Legionella is less likely to grow in cooler environments, it is not unthinkable for the bacteria to be found in cold water. At this time, no civil action has been brought against the hospital.

Even though both outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease happened outside of Connecticut, this is a situation that could easily happen here. Anybody who loses a loved one to a similar situation may consider filing a wrongful death claim against the parties responsible. A favorable outcome could mean financial compensation for the victim’s family. It could also mean the beginning of healing for those who are grieving.

Source: pittsburgh.cbslocal.com, “Pittsburgh Hospital Had Legionella In Ice Machines“, May 2, 2014