Feb
23
2017
Share Button

53-year-old New Zealand resident, Susan Dromgool, slipped into a two-week coma after contracting Legionnaires’ disease in December 2016.  She had been using potting soil to plant succulents and believed she had taken the appropriate safety measures since she wore gloves and used the potting mix in a well-ventilated area.  However, the evening after planting the succulents, she began to experience chills and her symptoms progressively got worse.  She was admitted to the hospital and put in an induced coma.  She woke up approximately two weeks later with no memory of the events surrounding her illness.

Ms. Dromgool gradually recovered and is now warning about the use of potting soil: “People need to know that it’s not enough to just wear the gloves and no mask – there are warnings on all of the packets of potting mix, but perhaps the mask should come with the mix.”

To read more, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:55 pm
Feb
15
2017
Share Button

Health officials in Fresno County, Calif. reported earlier this week that a patient at a nursing home died due to Legionnaires’ disease.  Additional details about the patient and date of death were not released; however, the health department has been investigating the NorthPointe Health Centre since January 23, 2017.  According to health officials, no other cases of Legionnaires’ disease were identified at this nursing home.

A different nursing home, Horizon Health & Subacute Center in northeast Fresno, however, also experienced a Legionella scare in January when the bacteria were found at the facility.  A resident was diagnosed with a respiratory illness, but the infection was not fatal and no other cases were reported.

To read more about this story please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:28 pm
Feb
02
2017
Share Button

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Legionella bacteria were discovered at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health System in January during routine testing.  The hospital imposed water restrictions at the facility to prevent infection after the bacteria were discovered in multiple sinks.  Testing occurred from Jan. 6 to Jan. 27 during which nine sinks and two supply lines tested positive for Legionella, bacteria known to cause a more virulent form of pneumonia.  Water restrictions were put in place on Jan. 28 and will last 14 days. There have been no reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with the VA Pittsburgh as a result of this recent testing.

In a press release, the hospital said, “The health and safety of our veterans, employees and visitors is our top priority…Out of an abundance of caution, we are extending water restrictions for at least the next 14 days as we complete remediation, and await subsequent water test results to ensure eradication of the bacteria was successful.”

To read more about this story, please click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 12:20 pm
Jan
06
2017
Share Button

The New York State Health Department has implemented mandatory testing within hospitals and nursing homes. These tests are for the presence of Legionella within cooling towers and drinking water systems, and the results are to be reported to state health officials.

The results of these tests performed at Cortland Regional Medical Center this fall were positive for the presence of Legionella bacteria. However, in a statement the medical center indicated there are no confirmed cases of hospital-acquired Legionella in association with these bacteria.

Since the bacteria’s discovery, temporary water sources were implemented where needed, and more permanent ionization units have been installed in the hospital and residential care facility. The facility says it plans to closely follow the retesting guidelines put forth by the state health department to ensure the bacteria are eliminated.

More information is available here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 12:04 pm
Jan
03
2017
Share Button
Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services

Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services

On December 20, 2016, a Complaint was filed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court by seven employees of Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services after the employees developed illnesses from exposure to Legionella bacteria. The cooling system within the company building located at 3210 Monroe Street, tested positive for Legionella bacteria. Six of the seven Plaintiffs are still employed at the company, while the seventh has since retired.

The Complaint was filed as a product liability case against Watcon Inc. of South Bend, Ind.; Baltimore Aircoil Co. of Baltimore, Md.; Sarmento Mechanical Sales Inc. of Sylvania; the city of Toledo’s Division of Water Treatment; the Lucas County Department of Job and Family Services, and the county Board of Commissioners. The Complaint claims that commissioners owned the building and purchased the cooling tower which was manufactured by Baltimore Aircoil through Sarmento Mechanical Sales. The city’s water division was responsible for testing the water, and Watson monitored the operation of the cooling tower.

The Columbus lawyer who filed the lawsuit, Daniel Abraham, believes that if the water systems within the company building were installed and maintained properly, the exposure to these bacteria would have never occurred.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 1:42 pm
Dec
30
2016
Share Button

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was previously prohibited from accessing documents about Legionella cases at McLaren-Flint Hospital due to a protective order. However, now the Michigan Court of Appeals has ordered the hospital to produce these documents.

The Department was trying to obtain these documents to investigate the cases of Legionnaires’ disease caused by the contaminated water in Flint, Michigan. According to a spokesperson for Governor Rick Snyder – Anna Heaton – the Protective Order prevented the Department from performing their duties of protecting the public.

The Hospital felt the Protective Order was necessary due to lawsuits there which may or may not have involved the Department, and it believed that the Order might prevent conflicts of interest or interference with the discovery process in such cases.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 11:07 am
Dec
23
2016
Share Button

Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, filed additional charges, including two against former state-appointed emergency managers, on Tuesday, December 20th in relation to the Flint water crisis.

Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose were charged on Tuesday with multiple 20-year felonies as a result of their failure to protect Flint residents from health hazards caused by contaminated drinking water. Additional Flint city employees, Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson, were charged alongside Earley and Ambrose with felony counts of false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses in the issuance of bonds to pay for a portion of the water project that led to the crisis.

According to Schuette, Ambrose and Earley were more concerned about money and illegally used an $85 million dollar bond to fund a water pipeline project that required the city to change its water source, despite the treatment plant not being ready. Meanwhile, Croft and Johnson are being accused of helping secure the bond, then pressuring the water treatment employees to get the plant up and running. Chief Investigator Andy Arena said that he was shocked by the fact that so many people knew the water treatment plant was not ready and were advised not to switch the water source, yet they had done so.

Although Flint Mayor Karen Weaver considers these charges among the others a “piece of justice,” she states that nothing will ever right the wrongs that were done.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 11:34 am
Dec
15
2016
Share Button
legionella-at-schenectady-nursing-home

Kingsway nursing home in Schenectady, NY

The Kingsway nursing home in Schenectady, New York conducted routine and mandated testing for the presence of Legionella bacteria. On November 23, 2016, the results indicated that 30 percent of the water samples were positive for non-pneumonic Legionella.

The facility flushed the pipes with scalding hot water (160 degrees) to kill off the bacteria momentarily while it arranges for a long-term solution. The strain of Legionella found at the facility is not typically responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, but could possibly cause pneumonia or other illnesses.

New York State regulations require that nursing homes test their potable water and report results if more than 30 percent of the locations sampled show positive for any Legionella, and subsequently must take corrective action. Daryn Cline of the Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease believes that testing should be required beyond health care facilities, and should be tested for in the water mains before it travels into the building.

Cline also says, that construction or repair work of any kind could allow for water contamination with Legionella bacteria. Shaking from construction could knock biofilm loose where Legionella bacteria live, and thus releasing it to flow throughout the water system.  A long term solution for Kingsway to better manage its water will be decided in the next couple of weeks.

More information is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 1:58 pm
Dec
12
2016
Share Button
Charlestown retirement community

Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville, Maryland

A resident of the Charlestown retirement community tested positive for Legionella bacteria and is currently hospitalized. Baltimore County health officials have ordered testing of the water in the Caton Woods Building within the community.

Dan Dunne, spokesman for the community, indicated that Caton Woods is a new building and only a dozen or so residents currently live there. New residents were in the process of being moved in, but this has since been halted.

The source of the bacteria that caused the resident’s illness has not yet been determined, and the results of the water testing performed at the Caton Woods Building should be returned in about 10 days. Legionella bacteria can lead to both Legionnaires’ disease as well as a less severe illness called Pontiac fever.

More information on illnesses caused by Legionella bacteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:43 am
Dec
08
2016
Share Button

La Quinta Inn & Suites Memphis Airport Graceland was found responsible in September of 2016 for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease among guests who stayed there between the months of July and September of 2016. Marlene Casas, 51, was a guest of the hotel during that time, and subsequently became ill with Legionnaires’ disease.

Acencion Casas filed a lawsuit on Marlene’s behalf in federal court on Tuesday. She was reported to have spent a total of 22 days in the hospital, including 10 days in the ICU. Owners of the inn, La Quinta Holdings Inc., and Minesh and Jagruti Patel, allegedly failed to keep the inn in a safe condition and enact policies in order to do so, created a dangerous situation, and did not warn guests in a timely manner about the situation.

Sadler Bailey, Casas’ attorney, stated that water systems can be treated to prevent the acquisition of Legionnaires disease, and that is what Ms. Casas’ case is about. Ms. Casas has underlying health conditions that would have made her more susceptible to contracting the disease when exposed to the bacteria.

The Shelby County Health Department confirmed eight total cases of Legionnaires’ disease to be associated with the Memphis La Quinta.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates

 

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 11:33 am