November 5, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Every case involving Legionnaires’ disease that this office has been involved in has always had the defense attorney arguing that the bacteria causing Legionnaires’ disease is ubiquitous (found everywhere). By this the defense attorneys mean that because the bacteria legionella can be found naturally in nature, their clients should not be liable to pay money damages to my clients. What the defense attorneys don’t tell you is that although legionella bacteria may be found in water everywhere, it only causes disease such as Legionnaire’s disease when the property owner does not properly maintain the water system. Failure to properly maintain…

October 23, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

This office has handled many cases of Legionnaires’ disease acquired from a spa, hot tub or Jacuzzi. The recent outbreak in Hampton, New Hampshire is a case in point. One possible source of this outbreak is in the indoor spa at the Sands Resort in Hampton. The reasons a spa may be a source is due to the nature of the system supplying water to the spa. The system itself is called a closed loop system. This means that the water supplying the spa, hot tub or Jacuzzi is in a continuous loop closed off from other water systems in…

October 17, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

As promised, this blog will cover US legislative attempts to control the bacteria legionella that causes Legionnaires’ disease. While many states have requirements as to the amount of residual chlorine that must be present in spas, no state has legislation to curtail legionella in cooling towers than New York. Unfortunately, the New York legislation does not cover the potable water system (showers, faucets, holding tanks, etc.) in a building, or any water feature such as a lobby fountain. This is completely different from the approach taken in the UK as explained in an earlier blog, which is national in nature…

October 9, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

As mentioned in a previous blog, the United Kingdom takes a very different approach to controlling Legionnaires’ disease. Unlike the United States, the UK has a national law, the Health and Safety Act of 1974 as amended, whereby owners of premises can be criminally prosecuted if in violation of the Act. The Act requires a regular risk assessment to identify any areas in a building such as a hotel that has or could develop the legionella bacteria. Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease result in a full investigation as well as a possible criminal prosecution. Greater detail will be provided about the…

September 7, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Three important pieces of evidence have been revealed through the media so far about the outbreak at the Sands Resort. The owner did not have a permit for the spa, there was legionella bacteria in numerous places through out the hotel and not just the spa, and numerous people who have been associated with the hotel who have contracted the disease.  These facts are important for the following reasons. Permits are issued to make sure the spa holder complies with all regulatory requirements, e.g. the amount of chlorine in the spa. Finding legionella in two different water systems within the…

September 4, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

  Jules Zacher has been retained by two persons who contend they have contracted Legionnaires disease at the Sands Resort in Hampton New Hampshire. An Order issued by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services indicates that the bacteria that causes the disease has been found in a hot tub, water heater, outdoor shower hose,  and shower heads or sinks. The state Department of health has ordered the Sands Resort to notify all guests of the outbreak and to hire a consultant to remediate. Testing by the CDC  indicates the  legionella bacteria was found in shower heads or…

April 9, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

In a previous post, we discussed an introduction to water system maintenance. More detailed resources, however, can clearly be of great assistance in situations like this. As such, the CDC actually provides a great page to review other significant guidelines and standards that may be applicable. Resources on the page include everything from ASHRAE to the Cooling Tower Institute however what’s also of interest is that the page provides links to more healthcare-specific guidelines including those from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as, of course, the CDC’s own guidelines on both matters. Here are some of…

April 5, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Assessing plumbing systems can sometime feel like a task which you are going to be inherently blind in. After all, regular testing is important however pinpointing the exact location of clusters can often be difficult. Luckily, there appears to be a new model which may help public health authorities assess water quality. According to one of the co-authors and civil and environmental engineering professor Wen-Tso Liu, “(P)revious studies have relied on reproducing the conditions of a stagnant plumbing system within a lab setting,” however for this study, the team was “able to collect samples in a real-life situation.” The team collected…

April 4, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

A preliminary report released yesterday suggests that a substantial upgrade of the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy is the best route for resolving the Legionella issues there. This makeover, however, is estimated to cost as much as $278 million. The report describes a brand new residence with new plumbing and a well to serve as a separate water source. This report by the task forces which the governor had organized says the new facility would not only include Legionnaires’-resistant piping, but could be built to adapt to the changing needs of veterans moving forward. A final report is expected on May 1.…

April 3, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

A Dallas senior living community was required to treat the water in two of their buildings after the country health department detected a case of Legionnaires’ disease. Mr Jeff Getek, Highland Spring Senior Living spokesman, has said that the retirement community was initially notified of the positive Legionnaires’ disease test by the Collin County Department of Health. In addition, Mr. Getek also added that this was an “isolated situation,” with no other residents at the Far North Dallas community having reported symptoms. One of the residential buildings where the resident with Legionnaires lives will have water restriction until the health…