Water is incredibly responsive– when it is managed properly, it can keep us hydrated, clean, cool, and more. However, when it is not properly maintained, it can become toxic, and fatal to those who ingest it. That is why all property and business owners should make sure to always stay on top of their water management systems, so as to avoid legal liability for any water-borne toxins or illnesses.
One such example that is relatively common in the world of personal injury is the formation of Legionella bacteria, which transforms into Legionnaires’ disease when ingested into the body.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is very severe in nature. Most patients contract the disease after inhaling microscopic water droplets (or soil particles in some cases) that contain the Legionella bacteria. Their lungs then become inflamed, to the extent that some cases are fatal.
The typical symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease start with fevers, muscle aches, and headaches, but after the disease has fully set in, patients can start to experience violent coughing fits, chest pain, and clouded cognitive awareness.
Medical experts have posited that the following demographics are especially at risk for contracting the disease:
- Those with weakened immune systems
- Anyone over the age of 50
- Those who currently smoke or used to smoke
- Cancer patients
- Anyone with chronic lung, kidney, or liver conditions
Due to the fact that a vast majority of cases involve exposure to tainted water, most claims are aimed toward hotels, condominium complexes, nursing homes and senior living facilities, hospitals, cruise ships, and shopping malls.
Elements of a Legionnaires’ Case
A Legionnaires’ case is usually a bad experience for all involved– the plaintiff is stricken with a terrible disease that can be fatal, and the defendant is usually hit with high reimbursement costs that sometimes extend past normal compensation into the realm of punitive damages.
Any person(s) who owns or manages a business or property that has been determined to be the source of a Legionnaires outbreak can be held liable for anyone who contracts the disease and becomes vulnerable to incoming lawsuits.
On the plaintiff’s side, proving fault in a Legionnaires’ case is not too much different from any other case in that you will need to successfully demonstrate the following elements:
- First, you must prove that you were in fact exposed to the harmful Legionella bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.
- Additionally, it must be determined that you were exposed to the bacteria at the property in question (hotel, cruise ship, etc.).
- The third component, which is usually the most contested part of the case, is where the plaintiff must prove that the outbreak and subsequent exposure to Legionella bacteria were due to negligent behavior on behalf of the person(s) in charge of managing and maintaining the property in question.
- Lastly, the exposure to Legionella must be confirmed with a proven diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease from a medical professional.
Any settlement of verdict awarded in a Legionnaires’ case will vary depending on a few factors, the first of which is whether the liable party is insured against these types of claims. The other would be the severity of the disease– generally, the more adversely that an individual has been affected, the higher the settlement will be. Any case that involves death would recover the highest settlement.
Contact Legionnaires’ Case Expert Lawyers
Any individual who has contracted Legionnaires’ disease and is considering moving forward with legal action should contact the trusted team of Las Vegas Legionnaires’ case attorneys at Van Law Firm right away.
Our staff of personal injury and premises liability lawyers can recover multiple forms of damages, including medical reimbursement, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We’ve won over $50 million for our clients so far, and that doesn’t account for what we can win for you. Don’t hesitate– call (702) 529-1011 to get your case started with a free consultation.