Legionnaires’ Disease Leads to a $4.5 Million Verdict
The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) professionals at Clark Seif Clark (CSC) provide testing services to help prevent or respond to outbreaks of the deadly disease caused by the waterborne bacteria.
In November a jury in Calhoun County Circuit Court awarded two men $4.5 million after they were stricken by Legionnaires’ disease. The two men from the Jefferson County Road Department were staying at an inn in Oxford, Alabama for several weeks to help cleanup tornado damage in the area. Upon leaving the inn both men became ill and were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
It is believed that both men became ill from using the inn’s hot tub. Legionnaires’ disease can take from to 2 to 14 days before symptoms appear and individuals often initially show flu-like symptoms.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by Legionella pneumophila bacteria. The transmission of Legionella occurs via aerosols, when mists containing the bacteria are inhaled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, “Each year, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S. However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher.” Death can result in 5% to 30% of those infected according to some reports.
Clark Seif Clark, a leading provider of indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental testing services, are experts at testing for the Legionella bacteria. “Legionella is found naturally in the environment. When water systems aren’t properly maintained, dangerous concentrations of the bacteria can proliferate.” reported Derrick A. Denis, V.P. Indoor Environmental Quality at CSC. “The bacteria grow well in warm water, so buildings with hot tubs, cooling towers, evaporative coolers, fountains or large plumbing systems need to be aware of the dangers. Testing the water can help determine if high concentrations of the Legionella bacteria are present. If concentrations are elevated, corrective measures should be initiated.”
About Clark Seif Clark (CSC)
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both the public and private sectors address environmental issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.
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- Paul Cochrane
- Cochrane & Associates, LLC
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