Attorney breaks down legal side of Legionnaires' disease
(WENY) -- In September, the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen was cited in a lawsuit saying a woman died from Legionnaires' disease eight days before a warning in 2018, allegedly from her time spent at the hotel pool. WENY News spoke with an attorney from Baltimore who has taken on over two dozen Legionnaires' disease cases to learn about tackling the legal side after catching the disease.
"Just getting sick doesn't automatically mean you're going to win a lawsuit," said Goldberg Segalla law firm partner, Thomas Bernier. "These are very difficult cases to prove. You have to prove that you actually have the diagnosis of Legionnaires' disease. You have to prove the exact source because the sources are numerous. Legionella bacteria is everywhere, including municipal waters."
If there's not already an open investigation, you need to find out where you could've gotten it. Meaning it could be anywhere you've gone up to the past 14 days. If you pass away, the case becomes a little harder.
"When someone is diagnosed in dire straits with Legionnaires' disease, they're in the hospital," said Bernier. "The doctors are aware of it. They're working with the health department and family members to do a lot of that tracking and investigation. That's where epidemiologist and public health officials do their work."
WENY News contacted the general manager of the Harbor Hotel who says he has no comment on an active case. Bernier just says people should look into several factors, like how sick someone got, or if you have enough facts and evidence to pursue a case.