NBBJ, a prominent architecture firm, has been under some heat regarding a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio.
The architecture firm was hired by Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) and Premier Health Partners (PHP) in May 2007 to build a 12-story Heart Patient Tower. Four years later, 11 patients became ill with Legionnaires’ disease and one patient ultimately died. Legionella bacteria were discovered in the building’s pluming system. According to MVH and PHP attorneys, the outbreak was linked to the pluming system during construction.
“It may prove fiendishly difficult to prove how Legionella formed in the plumbing system,” said architect Richard L. Zimmerman, who was called as an expert witness.
According to an article in the Architect’s Newspaper, the case went to court last year with MVH arguing that NBBJ did not obtain commercial general liability insurance to protect NBBJ and the hospital from “bodily injury caused by a biological agent or bacteria,” such as Legionella.
Earier this year, the Court ruled in favor of MVH. Zimmerman says this sends a message to architects that “[they] must continually consider how to best protect themselves, and how to stay out of litigation.”
To read more about this story, please click here.