A Batavia Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit has been filed by a Geneva man who claims he contracted the potentially deadly illness from a senior living facility.
Fourteen Sickened in Outbreak
Personal injury attorneys representing 70-year-old Geneva resident Terry Irvin filed the Batavia Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit in Kane County on June 14, 2021. The defendant is Covenant Living at the Holmstad, a senior facility at 700 W. Fabyan Parkway in Batavia, IL. The plaintiff and his attorneys are seeking a jury trial and at least $50,000.00 in damages.
Irvin, who lives less than half a mile away from the Geneva senior living facility, claims that he contracted Legionnaires’ disease from contaminated vapor released from Holmstad’s cooling tower. He was reportedly one of two community members and a dozen Holmstad residents who contracted Legionnaires’ disease during an outbreak in August and September of 2019. Overall, fourteen people were sickened with the disease and required hospitalization.
Batavia Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit Alleges Negligence
First identified in 1976 after an outbreak at an American Legion Convention in Philadelphia, Legionnaires’ disease is an atypical form of pneumonia caused by infection with Legionella pneumophila. This bacteria can be found naturally in fresh water and may grow in human-made building water systems, including cooling towers. Legionella typically spreads when people breathe in mist contaminated with it.
It can take two to ten days for those exposed to Legionella to show signs of infection. Infected people may experience muscle pain, headaches, discomfort, dry coughing, fever, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and even death.
While anyone could contract the illness, Legionnaires’ disease typically targets those who are already in a vulnerable or weakened physical state, with hospitals and senior living communities especially susceptible to outbreaks. For this reason, such facilities have a heightened responsibility to maintain their premises in order to prevent outbreaks – a responsibility that the defendant allegedly ignored.
The Batavia Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit accuses Covenant Living of negligence for not properly maintaining and cleaning the water system at Holmstad.
“Despite being required to regularly inspect the cooling tower for cleanliness and leaks, and being told twice [by the Illinois Department of Public Health] before the outbreak that the cooling tower required cleaning and had bacteria, there are no records indicating that Covenant Living ever conducted any further cleaning or inspection of the cooling tower,” the lawsuit alleges. “Covenant Living was aware of the risks posed by its cooling tower as early as May of 2019. A cooling tower report from May 2, 2019, notes ‘tower has micro dirt in basin’ and ‘must remove via bleed or manual clean.'”
The Batavia Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit further notes that conditions inside cooling towers “are ideal for Legionella growth, and cooling towers can discharge water vapor or mist containing the bacteria into the environment.”
Plaintiff’s Exposure to Legionella
Irvin reportedly used to drive by Covenant Living at the Holmstad every day on his way to work, potentially exposing him to Legionella from the facility’s cooling tower, according to the Batavia Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit. Then on Sept. 7, 2019, he went to Geneva’s Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, complaining of a fever, cough, shivers, headaches, and weakness.
On Sept. 11, Irvin tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease. His condition was reportedly complicated by a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhea. After his initial hospitalization, Irvin was admitted to the Grove of Fox Valley Rehabilitation Center in Aurora from Sept. 17 to 24.
The Batavia Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit alleges that the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that Irvin’s infection was associated with the Holmstad outbreak. The suit further claims that Irvin suffered physical and emotional injuries, incurred medical bills, and lost income, as well as that he will continue to incur future medical expenses and wage loss.
Helping Wrongfully Sickened Victims
If you have been wrongfully sickened because of somebody else’s negligent actions, you might be eligible to receive financial compensation. To help maximize the value of your claim, consider retaining the services of the personal injury attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys have earned the respect –and the fear – of defense lawyers and insurance companies across the state. We have the experience, the determination, the resources, and the reputation of success necessary to get you and your family the justice you deserve.