Negligent Companies May Cause the Spread of Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires' disease is often spread through contaminated water. If a company is using water in the creation of its products and they fail to sufficiently clean the water so that it is safe to use in food products, you may be able to win a product liability claim if you can prove that the company is responsible for your illness.

Understanding Legionella Bacteria

This type of bacteria thrives in warm freshwater environments. It is also often found in human water systems. For example, it can make its way into the misting devices that are used by grocery stores. Unfortunately, if you contract Legionnaires' disease, you may find it difficult to pinpoint who is responsible for your infection and then show a preponderance of evidence in court that the defendant was at fault. This will usually require a scientific investigation and thorough documentation. 

There are several parties who could potentially be at fault for the infection. This can include the property owner, a manager, or an operator. A business might have vicarious liability when an employee does not use best practices and you end up becoming sick as a result. Therefore, you will need help from a product claim attorney.

Proving Fault

To prove fault for your infection, you must first prove that you were exposed to Legionella. You must find evidence that the particular location you are litigating against exposed you to this disease. This exposure must be proven to have caused you to contract Legionnaires' disease. You must also prove that the exposure was a result of negligence. 

One of the challenges of dealing with Legionella exposure is that there are no state, federal, or local regulations regarding the prevention of Legionella. The CDC has published guidelines, but these are considered to be advisory. However, new legislation has been drafted and future companies might be required to follow regulations.

Calculating Damages

Until then, your attorney will need to make a case for why you suffered damages as a result of exposure to the disease. You will need to determine the damages you have suffered and will also need to determine how much money you have lost due to lost wages. You may also be able to seek compensation for damages due to pain and suffering. If you can create a strong enough case, the company responsible for your infection may choose to settle out of court which would be the best outcome.