Legionnaires’ Disease: Health and Legal Issues

Legionnaires’ Disease: Health  and Legal Issues

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. Symptoms include a deep cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches and headaches. Symptoms usually begin 2 to 10 days after being exposed to the bacteria, but it can take longer.  Legionnaires' disease can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other types of pneumonia.  There are specific tests determine if a case of pneumonia is Legionnaires’ disease.

The Legionella Bacterium can grow in warm water found in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and decorative fountains A common place for Legionella to grow s in cooling towers. A cooling tower is a rooftop appliance 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.

Property owners who regularly test their buildings water towers for the presence of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ and treat with chemical that destroy the bacteria can prevent the illness from occurring.  Those that don’t follow the necessary testing and cleaning routines, may be legally liable for causing people to get sick.

We have represented clients who were hotel guests and apartment residents who became sickened with Legionnaires’ disease. We also represent many of the people who have suffered and who have lost loved ones, in the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak, in the Sumer of  2015 Legionnaires’ in the South Bronx in New York. 

If you or a loved one have concerns or questions about the legal rights of people infected with Legionnaires' disease, please call us at 212-809-4293 or email us at

FAQ’s Legionnaires’’ Disease

1. Can I catch Legionnaires’ Disease form someone who has the illness?

No. Legionnaires’ disease can only be contracted by someone who inhales water vapor that contains the Legionella bacterium.

2. Can I catch Legionnaires’ disease form the water that drips from window air conditioner units?

No. That water does not remain in the unit long enough or reach the appropriate temperatures for the Legionella bacteria to grow to levels that can cause infection.

3.  If I’m diagnosed with pneumonia, how can I find out whether it’s actually Legionnaire’s Disease?

Generally medical facilities and doctors are aware of the risk that pneumonia might be Legionnaires’ disease and will test for it. If an outbreak has been reported, specific d tests should be performed. Of course, it can never hurt to ask your health care provider to check to see what type of pneumonia you have.

4. How can I find out if someone is legally responsible for causing my catching Legionnaires’ dioses?

If you’ve been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, and have obtained the necessary treatment, you should contact an experienced Legionnaires’’ Disease attorney, who can help to determine, if you are entitled to compensations as a result of your becoming sick with Legionnaires’ disease.

5. Will I have to pay that lawyer money to see whether I have a case?

Most experienced Legionnaire’s Disease law firms, like mine will take a case on a contingency basis. That means they will charge no fee, unless and until they recovery money for you.  You may choose to have the attorney pay all costs related to investigation and pursuing a claim on your behalf.

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