Like the last case we revisited, this post highlights a past client’s case. Our last post highlighted the danger of hot tubs. This post highlights the threat posed by cooling towers – a large, commercial building’s water cooling system.
In July and August 2015, there was an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in the Bronx that claimed 12 lives and sickened at least 128 people. The outbreak caused widespread concern and weeks of uncertainty among residents. Thanks to the hard work of epidemiologists and investigators, the source of the outbreak was identified: a cooling tower in the area. In cooling tower cases, the simple act of walking down the sidewalk exposes victims to contaminated water droplets that fall from the towers above. That’s what happened to our plaintiffs. In cases like this, there are often clusters of cases. In July of 2015, the New York Department of Health was made aware of the hundred or so cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in a single area of the city. Their investigation makes our plaintiffs’ cases easier to establish, because the source is readily identified. Having determined that the cooling tower was a likely source of the outbreak, investigators turned to clinical results to confirm their suspicions. Using gel electrophoresis and whole genome sequencing, they compared the specific bacteria that inhabited the cooling tower with the bacteria inhabiting the lungs of our clients. After several rounds of rigorous testing, they determined that the bacteria samples matched: The cooling tower had in fact been the source of the outbreak.
THE MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE HAVE BEEN PREPARED BY JULES ZACHER, P.C. FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL COUNSEL.