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Leesfield & Partners continues to represent clients in Legionnaires’ Disease cases, closing out one last month and continuing work on multiple others

Leesfield & Partners attorneys secured a settlement for a woman who contracted Legionnaires’ Disease following a stay at a Florida hotel where she routinely used the hot tub. The Florida Department of Health reported a previous case of Legionnaires’ Disease three years earlier at the same hotel, this time infecting a man in his 60s.

The woman began experiencing symptoms the day she checked out from the hotel, including swelling all over her body, attorneys said in court records. She broke out in a fever ranging from 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit and was diagnosed at the hospital with multifocal pneumonia and Legionnaires’ Disease. While she was in the hospital, the woman went into septic shock. 

Records from the state department of health showed the hotel failed to maintain minimum chlorine levels in the jacuzzi. Leesfield & Partners attorneys also discovered that the hotel failed to maintain the hot tub in accordance with industry standards. As a result of her exposure, the woman suffered an acute kidney injury. To this day, the woman suffers from regular bouts of pain and fatigue.

Eric Shane, the Leesfield & Partners Trial Attorney who worked on this case, secured a $300,000 award for the woman. 

What is Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ Disease was first identified in 1976 following an outbreak of pneumonia in Philadelphia at a convention for the American Legion, according to the Florida Department of Health. It is a severe form of pneumonia contracted when a person inhales water droplets contaminated by Legionella bacteria that grows best in warm, slow-moving water. 

The bacteria can grow on showerheads, sink faucets, decorative fountains, hot tubs or plumbing systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Once a person becomes infected, the bacteria can inhibit their ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. Those most at risk of infection are current and former smokers, people 50 years old or older, and those with preexisting health conditions such as chronic lung diseases, cancer or weakened immune systems. 

There are 8,000 to 18,000 confirmed hospitalizations due to the disease every year in the United States. The latest available data in Florida shows the rate of Legionnaires’ Disease to be 2.4 per every 10,000 people, according to the FDOH. 

Past Cases

Leesfield & Partners has spearheaded the way for Legionnaires’ Disease litigation within its Resort Torts practice area. This area refers to a sector of legal practice representing victims in accidents or injuries occurring at resorts or other vacation destinations. Last year, the law firm settled two cases of Legionnaires’ Disease resulting from the same resort. The plaintiffs in those cases were unrelated and were not staying at the resort at the same time. Leesfield & Partners’ Founder and Managing Partner, Ira Leesfield, along with other attorneys at the firm were able to prove that the resort did not properly maintain or sanitize water systems such as in the multiple decorative fountains featured on the property where Legionella bacteria was able to grow.  

A six-figure settlement for each client was reached in those cases.  

If you were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease after visiting the State of Florida, contact us at 1-800-836-6400 for a free consultation.

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