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Thursday, August 13, 2015
By Louis Grandelli
Posted in Environmental

The Bronx recently had the worst outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease in New York City history. To date, 119 people reportedly have been infected with the disease and twelve individuals have died. Thus far fourteen sites within the Bronx impact zone have been identified as testing positive of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease.

Legionnaire’s disease is a form of pneumonia that is caused by bacteria that lives in warm water. Cooling towers within the Bronx are the likely sources of the recent outbreak. All of the sites that have been identified so far testing positive for Legionella have either been disinfected and remediated, or in the process of being disinfected. See NBC New Report for more details.  The cooling towers where the disease likely originated are found in hospitals and other large buildings.

Legionnaire’s isn’t contagious from person to person. People can only become infected from breathing in water vapor that contains the bacteria.

According to the New York City Department of Health, the most at-risk persons are middle-aged to elderly people, cigarette smokes, individuals with chronic lung disease, and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, cough, chills and muscle aches. While most people will get better after early treatment with antibiotics, others may require hospitalization, experience severe symptoms and complications which, in some cases, may result in death.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have proposed legislation and executive action to combat Legionnaire’s disease and are working on regulations for the testing and maintenance of cooling towers.

If you or someone you know has contracted Legionnaire’s Disease, you may have a claim against the City of New York and/or the owner and operator of a building which houses a cooling tower where the disease originated. These claims may be difficult based on the fact that the disease is hard to diagnose and there are difficulties in tracing where the bacteria originated. However, the lawyers at Louis Grandelli, P.C. have the right experience and expertise in environmental law and toxic tort claims to get you the compensation that you may deserve.

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