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Elliot Olsen has more than two decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars in compensation for his clients. If you or a family member has become sick in this Las Vegas Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, please call him at 612-337-6126, or complete the following:

A California man has filed the first lawsuit against Ceasars Entertainment Corp. in connection with a Las Vegas Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in June at the Rio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, according to news reports.

The first lawsuit was filed against the Rio Hotel and Casino in this summer's Las Vegas Legionnaires' disease outbreak.

The first lawsuit was filed against the Rio Hotel and Casino in this summer’s Las Vegas Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Christopher Moncado, 50, of Long Beach, filed suit Tuesday in Nevada’s Clark County District Court. Moncado has been on disability since contracting the disease. He has suffered from shortness of breath, weakness, lack of energy, sleeplessness, and depression. Moncado’s attorney said they have sent his medical records and bills to Caesars’ officials, who have not responded.

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) tested the Rio’s water supply and confirmed Legionella bacteria – which causes Legionnaires’ disease – in the system. The SNHD also confirmed that Moncado’s case was a part of the June outbreak.

The SNHD said the outbreak has seven confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease, 30 suspected cases of Legionnaires’ disease, and 60 suspected cases of Pontiac fever, a flu-like illness caused by Legionella. The investigation remains open.

Legionnaires’ disease 101

Legionnaires’ disease – also called Legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to the Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur each year, but only 5,000 cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms, and 10 percent of those will die from the infection.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments. Outbreaks have been linked to a range of sources, such as:

  • water systems, like those used in hotels, hospitals, and nursing homes
  • cooling towers in air conditioning systems
  • large plumbing systems
  • decorative fountains
  • mist machines
  • hot tubs/whirlpools
  • hot water tanks/heaters
  • showers/faucets
  • swimming pools
  • equipment used in physical therapy.

Complications of Legionnaires’

After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is often required. In the most severe cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.

Anyone can get the disease, but those at the greatest risk of infection include:

  • people 50 or older
  • current or former smokers
  • heavy drinkers of alcohol
  • people with chronic lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema
  • people with suppressed immune systems, such as those suffering from diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, or infected with HIV
  • organ-transplant recipients
  • individuals who are following certain drug protocols (for instance, corticosteroids).