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Nineteen More Plaintiffs Come Forward against South Bronx Hotel That Was Found to be the Source of Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak

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Nineteen More Plaintiffs Come Forward against South Bronx Hotel That Was Found to be the Source of Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak

April 13, 2016

Ronald J. Katter of The Katter Law Firm has announced that he has filed a complaint at the New York State Supreme Court in Bronx County on behalf of 19 additional plaintiffs who contracted Legionnaires’ disease from the cooling towers at The Opera House Hotel in the South Bronx. The plaintiffs consist of eleven survivors, five of their spouses and the estates of three people who died from contracting the disease.

The complaint alleges that those who were infected suffered severe personal injuries and nervous shock, great physical pain and mental anguish as a result of the defendants’ negligence, carelessness and recklessness and seeks compensation on behalf of their spouses for lost earnings and services. The suit also includes a wrongful death action on behalf of three of the plaintiffs who have since died as a result of contracting the disease.

An investigation began on July 20, 2015 to determine where the outbreak started and, eight days later, the New York City Health Department began sampling the cooling towers at the Opera House Hotel. On August 20, 2015, the New York City Health Department’s Public Health Laboratory, working with the New York State’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), determined the source of the outbreak came from the cooling towers at the Opera House Hotel. According to data from the City of New York’s website, 133 people contracted the disease and 16 people died.

According to the CDC, Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria, which are usually found in water. The bacteria can grow in warm water found in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and decorative fountains. People contract the disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor containing the bacteria. Symptoms include pneumonia with other signs, such as cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches and headaches.

In addition to The Opera House Hotel, the complaint also names the following as defendants: GS 149 LLC; 436 E. 149th Street Management, LLC; The Right Connection Plumbing and Heating Inc.; A2Z Mechanical, Inc.; and The Metro Group, Inc. Mr. Katter filed a separate complaint in August 2015 against the hotel on behalf of a healthy 54-year-old male who became sickened when he came in contact with the Legionella bacteria.