The Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, responsible for a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in which at least 21 veterans were sickened and five veterans died, is now asking a judge to dismiss an $8 million wrongful-death federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by Greta M. Nicklas, 81, in August over the death of her husband, William E. Nicklas, 87. However, the VA denies liability for the Nov. 23, 2012 death of Mr. Nicklas,’ a World War II veteran. The VA claims that federal law does not allow Mr. Nicklas’ widow to sue; however, her lawyers disagree and say that a lawsuit can be filed as long as they take appropriate “preliminary procedural steps.”
Either way, the situation does not look good for the VA since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a federal entity, linked the five deaths to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA.
Further, according to Tory Schira, COO of LiquiTech Environmental Solutions, said that they provided a “courtesy visit in December 2011” and that the VA never requested a visit. During the meeting, VA officials admitted that the copper-silver ionization treatment for the water system was not functioning properly, but then did not follow through with the recommendations proposed by LiquiTech.