Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires’ disease was identified in 1976 following an outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia that year. It’s not transferred from person to person; instead, you get it by breathing in a mist that is laden with Legionella bacteria. The mist could come from air conditioning units, cooling towers, drinking water systems, grocery store mist machines, and hot tubs — environments perfect for the bacteria to flourish. Symptoms generally start from two to 10 days after exposure. No vaccines exist for Legionnaires’ disease. If you believe you have this ailment, contact Morgan & Morgan via this form for a free case evaluation.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia. Symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches

While anyone can contract Legionnaires’ disease, certain people are more susceptible, including:

  • Those who are over 50 years old
  • People who smoke or used to smoke
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Those who have a chronic lung disease such as emphysema or COPD
  • People undergoing medical treatment that compromises the immune system, such as chemotherapy
  • People with cancer
  • People with an underlying disease such as kidney failure, diabetes, or liver failure

Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics. The healthier you are, the quicker you are likely to recover. According to the CDC, 1 in 10 people die of the infection. If you think you might have been exposed to Legionella bacteria and are showing symptoms, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

Complications From Legionnaires’ Disease

Sometimes, Legionnaires’ disease leads to serious and life-threatening complications like respiratory failure, septic shock and acute kidney failure. Treating the ailment promptly reduces the risk of getting very sick or even dying of these conditions.

Why You May Be Entitled to Compensation

Failure to keep systems such as a hot tub or a grocery store misting machine in good repair may allow the growth of Legionella bacteria. You may be entitled to compensation if you contract Legionnaires’ disease through one of these improperly maintained systems.

Damages Available

Damages you may be entitled to can be economic or noneconomic. Economic damages are those with a specific cost associated with them, including medical expenses you may have already incurred, future medical bills, lost wages, and future lost pay. Noneconomic damages are those that do not have a price attached to them. They include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. If you recover from Legionnaires’ disease in a relatively short time, you may be entitled only to economic damages. However, if you are sick for a longer period or you lost a loved one because of the ailment, you may be entitled to noneconomic damages.

Contact a Legionnaires’ Disease Attorney

If you have been infected with Legionnaires’ disease or lost a loved one because of complications from the condition, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free case evaluation.


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