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Elliot Olsen is a nationally known Legionnaires lawyer; he has regained millions for his clients. If you or a family member were sickened in this Hampton Legionnaires outbreak, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please give Elliot a call at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation, or complete the following:
Three more Hampton Legionnaires outbreak lawsuits have been filed against The Sands Resort at Hampton Beach. The hotel was identified by officials as the probable source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak during the summer.
The outbreak sickened 19 people, one of whom died. Those sickened became ill in an area of Hampton, New Hampshire, identified as Ashworth Avenue between Island Path and M Street. Outbreak illnesses were recorded in early June through September.
Hampton Legionnaires outbreak lawsuits: up to 4
The lawsuits were filed in Rockingham Superior Court, bringing the number of lawsuits faced by The Sands to four, all by Massachusetts residents. The lawsuits allege the hotel’s spas and water system carried water infected by Legionella bacteria, causing the plaintiffs to be hospitalized with Legionnaire’s disease.
Test results at The Sands returned elevated levels of Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – in the hot tub, water heater, outdoor shower hose, and the sinks and shower heads in three guest rooms. At that time the positive test was announced, it was revealed that nine people sickened were guests at The Sands’ property, and those numbers were never updated.
The three lawsuits were filed by attorneys representing Nicole Murphy of Chicopee, Kathleen Foley of Monson, and Bruce Chester of Gardner. They were preceded by lawsuits from Massachusetts residents Louise M. Pare, also of Gardner, and Celeste M. Billington of Templeton, whose attorney filed a lawsuit in September.
Hampton Legionnaires outbreak lawsuits: hot tub
All four lawsuits state that the plaintiffs spent time around the hotel’s spa area, and that they used the showers, faucets and other potable water systems that carried infected water.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hot tubs that are not cleaned and disinfected often enough can become contaminated with Legionella. People can become infected by Legionella when they breathe in steam or mist from a contaminated hot tub.
The Sands Resort owner Tom Saab said the hotel’s hot tub has been closed permanently. “It’s going to be ripped out of there,” he said in September.
He declined to comment this week on the three new lawsuits.
Hampton Legionnaires outbreak lawsuits: defendants
The defendants in the new lawsuits are listed as:
- The Sands Resort Management Co., Inc.
- Aqua Paradise Pools and Spas
- Sands Hotel Realty Trust trustees Thomas Saab, Edward Saab and Leonard J. Samia.
The lawsuits claim that the three parties were negligent in their maintenance and inspection of the hotel’s facilities, enabling Legionella to grow in the water. The lawsuits also allege that contracts between the plaintiffs and The Sands, which ensured guests would be safe during their stay, were violated by the presence of the bacteria.
Hampton Legionnaires outbreak lawsuits: unhappy owner
Saab said his hotel was thrown “under the bus” when it was linked so publicly to the outbreak. He said he believes other businesses in the area also were likely at fault, given that the victim who died – a male senior citizen from New York – never stayed at The Sands.
Saab maintains that The Sands water supply could not have been the only source of Legionella. “This is a community-wide event; it’s not a Sands event,” Saab said.
Hampton Legionnaires outbreak lawsuits: the disease
Legionnaires’ disease is also known as legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia, and it is a severe type of lung infection. The CDC estimates 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella pneumophila – the scientific name for the bacteria – occur annually in the United States.
However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.
Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.
Legionnaires’ disease develops anywhere from two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella. Symptoms frequently begin with the following:
- fever, which can be 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- severe headaches
- muscle pains
By the second or third day, other symptoms develop, such as:
- cough, which can produce mucus and even blood
- difficulty breathing, or dyspnea
- chest pain
- gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
- confusion and other mental difficulties.
Although Legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in wounds and other parts of the body, including the heart.
Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks and clusters have been linked to a number of sources, including:
- hot tubs, swimming pools, whirlpools
- water systems like those used in hotels, apartment complexes, hospitals, and nursing homes
- cooling towers of air conditioning systems
- large plumbing systems
- hot-water tanks and heaters
- showers and faucets
- physical-therapy equipment
- mist machines like those used in the produce sections of grocery stores
- hand-held sprayers
- decorative fountains.
Anyone can become ill from Legionella, but people most susceptible to infection include:
- anyone 50 or older
- smokers, current or former
- anyone with a chronic lung disease or COPD, most commonly emphysema or bronchitis
- anyone with a weakened immune system
- organ-transplant recipients
- anyone on a specific drug protocols, such as corticosteroids.