Our Orlando Wrongful Death Attorneys Win Appeal in Legionnaires’ Disease Case
We represented a family from England who came to Orlando for a “holiday” vacation. They booked the hotel room online with a travel agent. They picked a name brand hotel in the International Drive area of Orlando. The Hotel had a previous outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease about six months earlier linked to the water in the hotel hot tub or spa. The hotel was supposed to take steps to clean out the hot tub and spa, keep the hot tub and spa clean, and follow state regulations for sanitary pool and hot tub water maintenance. Unknown to the guests the hotel did not remediate the hot tub water system and was not properly maintaining the hot tub water. As a result, although the water in the hot tub looked clean to the naked eye, it was actually infested with bacteria called Legionella.
Legionella bacteria are bacteria that grow naturally in warm water environments. In Florida, it may grow in lakes, ponds, pools, hot tubs and spas. Legionella bacteria can also grow in showers and other water storage places. Legionella bacteria are generally harmless if swallowed or if it touches the skin. However, if water containing the bacteria becomes vaporized in a sauna or spa, then the bacteria can be ingested through the lungs. Vaporized Legionella can lead to Legionnaires’ disease.
Lack of Hot Tub Maintenance Can Cause Fatal Illnesses
In the case of our clients, they were from England and sunbathing near the hot tub. They briefly used the hot tub, but most of the exposure came from just sitting in the pool deck area near the hot tub. There was very little contact with the water. The vaporized Legionella bacteria can travel long distances in the water. In this cases, the UK tourists were likely infected just by sitting on the pool deck near the hot tub. Some people can inhale vaporized water containing Legionella without experiencing any effects, so not all people near the pool developed an illness. In this case, only the husband contracted Legionnaires’ disease.
Legionnaires’ disease can take a while to manifest as an illness. For this reason, the family did not know about the disease until they returned to England when the husband became very sick. He was hospitalized for what they thought was the flu – only later did they realize it was Legionnaires’ disease. The European Health officials contacted the United States Center for Disease Control (The CDC) who investigated the case.
Seeking Justice On Your Loved One’s Behalf
Our firm was contacted to pursue a wrongful death case on behalf of the family against the hotel for failing to maintain the hotel water systems, including the spa and hot tub. The hotel and its insurance company fought hard, but we proved that the lack of water maintenance violated County and State health regulations and ultimately caused the man’s fatal disease.
This is one of the wrongful death cases that we have handled for those who lost loved ones because other parties ignored regulations, acted without care or showed a disregard for others’ safety. If a premises owner neglected to prevent serious accidents from taking place, contact our Orlando wrongful death lawyers to find out how we can help. There is no charge for your first consultation. Call 1-800-235-7060 to schedule yours today.