September 8, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Cruise ship passengers have more to worry about than COVID-19 on cruise ships. Carnival Cruise lines recently sent a letter that informed their guests that two cases of Legionnaires disease occurred among passengers. The two cases occurred in July and August 2021. Carnival Cruise Line is working with the CDC to investigate this potential outbreak. The ship had not been used since March of last year. Stagnant water increases the risk of Legionella transmission as it creates favorable conditions for Legionella growth. The cruise line has begun substantial mitigation measures on board the ship in question. This includes testing all…

November 13, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

As previously reported in a blog posted October 12, 2018, the US approach to controlling legionella is different from the United Kingdom. The UK approach is national in nature and very strict. Two recent examples include a leisure center in Walton-on-the-Naze being criminally prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive ( UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare) for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease two years ago. Another case involved a care home being fined 600,000 pounds (approximately $777,000.00) after pleading guilty to the death of a 90 year old who died…

October 25, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

New York City Council enacted a law in 2015 after a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx. The law requires that every cooling tower in New York City be identified, registered and inspected on a regular basis. The city has admitted recently that it is not sure it has found all cooling towers, three years after the legislation was passed (the city health department uses experts on the street and satellite imagery to find cooling towers). This failure to even identify all cooling towers takes on added significance after one remembers that there have been two recent outbreaks…

October 24, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

This office has had numerous inquiries regarding persons contracting Legionnaires’ disease. Often times the person does not know where they acquired the disease. Unfortunately, many times the person acquired the disease from a cooling tower. The cooling tower need not be in the vicinity of the person who acquired the disease,  or  even have been identified by health authorities. Consequently, the person may not know that a cooling tower has caused him or her to get sick. These cases are considered sporadic in nature. On the other hand, when a cooling tower has been identified as the source, as 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 15, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Another case of Legionnaires’ disease has occurred in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, bringing the total to 15 including one death since July 2018. All of the victims either lived or traveled in the city. The CDC has completed its environmental assessment by taking water samples from cooling towers and water features such as decorative fountains. Final results have not been released. What is interesting is the local health department’s comment that often a single source for the outbreak is not found. That is not the experience of this law firm. The most recent example is the outbreak associated with the…

October 10, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Without giving away too much about how I try a case, my firm’s focus has always been about the behavior of the party where my client contracted Legionnaires’ disease. All too often Judges and defense attorneys focus on the extent of the damages, i.e. how long the client was in the hospital and whether the client is still suffering from any residue from contracting the disease. This is a false emphasis and only one part of the equation as to how much the jury verdict should be. Rather, evidence such as a hotel where the client stayed not having a…

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…

October 3, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

A recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Guildford Town Centre mall in Surrey, British Columbia indicates that cooling towers at the mall may be the source of the disease. This firm has represented numerous persons who contracted the disease from a cooling tower at the Opera House Hotel in the Bronx, New York. The dynamics of a cooling tower outbreak are interesting. The cooling tower works by warm air coming from inside the building passing over cooler water in the tower. Unfortunately, biofilm builds up at the base of the tower which contains the legionella bacteria causing Legionnaires’ disease.…

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…