Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak: OCTOBER UPDATE

Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak: OCTOBER UPDATE

{2:10 minutes to read} In response to the Legionnaires’ outbreak in the summer of 2015, the City Council passed a bill that’s intended to curb the future spread of the illness.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria. The disease is transmitted to people when they inhale water droplets that contain Legionella. A common place for Legionella to live is in cooling towers. A cooling tower is a rooftop installation that cools the water used in air conditioning systems. Water vapor produced in the water cooling process is released into the air. That water vapor can carry Legionella. People contract Legionnaires’ disease when they inhale that contaminated water vapor.

Recent Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks in the Bronx, New York have caused at least 130 people to be hospitalized and have killed at least 12 people.

As of September 1, 2015, NYC building owners must provide annual certification that all cooling towers have been inspected, tested, cleaned and disinfected. In addition, building owners must have a maintenance plan and must register cooling towers. Failing to register will incur criminal and civil penalties of up to $10,000. Failure to disinfect will result in a $25,000 fine. The State of New York has recently passed a similar law.

While this law is a good start, the jury is still out on its effectiveness. Our firm has experience representing victims of Legionnaires’ Disease. If you or a loved one have questions about the legal rights of people infected with Legionnaires’ Disease, please call us at 212-809-4293 or email us at

Ron Katter

Katter Law Firm
Phone: 844-WAS-HURT
Alt Phone: 212-809-4293

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