One woman is dead and at least dozens are sick with Legionnaires’ disease after staying at a Sheraton Hotel in Atlanta. An investigation has determined the hotel was the source of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. If you became ill or a loved one died after staying at or visiting the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in late June or early July, you may have a legal case for compensation.
What Is the Legionnaires’ Death Case Against the Atlanta Sheraton?
The woman who died was 49-year-old Cameo Garrett. According to the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office, Garrett ultimately died of coronary artery disease but Legionella bacteria was a contributing factor. She was found dead in her home on July 9. So far, she is the only known death from the disease after being at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.
A lawsuit has been filed against the hotel on behalf of Germany Greer, a 67-year-old photographer who spent six days at a convention at the hotel. Soon after his stay, Greer symptoms like loss of taste, breathing problems, diarrhea, and trouble remembering his own name. He was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia, and was hospitalized in intensive care for four days.
The lawsuit claims the hotel was negligent in not properly testing or maintaining their water system. Regular cleaning of water systems is vital to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella, which causes Legionnaires’ Disease. Hotel guests and visitors were exposed to the bacteria from breathing in water vapors while at the hotel. Legionella bacteria was found in the Atlanta Sheraton’s cooling tower and in a fountain in the atrium.
Legionnaires’ Disease Exposure at Sheraton
On August 8, Georgia health officials reported 11 other people were confirmed to have the disease. All of them visited or stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel between the dates of June 22 and July 15. CNN reports there are also 63 probable cases so far. This means people report symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease but haven’t yet been tested for it.
Most people make a full recovery from the disease with proper treatment, but those with pre-existing conditions are more vulnerable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in ten people who develop Legionnaires’ disease will die.
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How to Know if You Have a Legionnaires’ Disease Case Against the Sheraton in Atlanta
You may have a legal case against the hotel if you:
- Have been diagnosed with or suspect you have Legionnaires’ disease AND
- Were recently a guest or visitor at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, especially between June 22 and July 15
Even if you don’t fit the exact criteria listed above, you may still have a case. More information will develop as the CDC and Georgia health officials investigate the outbreak source. Hotels should know bacteria growth is possible in their water systems and do everything they can to prevent harmful cases. Outbreaks like Legionnaires’ disease typically happen when procedures are not followed.
The best way to know for sure if you have a Legionnaire’s case against the Sheraton in Atlanta is by speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will have up-to-date information on the case and can discuss your options with you. If you develop Legionnaires’ disease because the hotel was negligent, you may have a right to the financial recovery of your costs.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease
Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection, but it can sometimes affect other body areas too. Common symptoms include:
- High fevers and chills
- Muscle pains
- Shortness of breath
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Chest pains
- Confusion, fatigue, or memory issues
Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease develop between two and around 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. If you have symptoms of the disease, see a doctor right away.
What if a Loved One Died Because of Legionnaires’ Disease at the Atlanta Sheraton?
If a family member has died in connection with Legionnaires’ disease or the Legionella bacteria, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. You may have a wrongful death case if your loved one:
- Died from Legionnaires’ disease or complications related to Legionella bacteria
- Visited or stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in June or July
Talk to a lawyer about your options and whether or not you can recover damages on behalf of your deceased loved one. They can also help you investigate the case and gather evidence of negligence related to the death.
Possible Compensation in the Atlanta Legionnaires’ Disease Case
If it is found that the Sheraton Atlanta was negligent by failing to prevent Legionella bacteria in their hotel, those who got sick (or had a family member die) may be entitled to compensation. The lawsuit is currently seeking compensation for:
- Medical expenses for treating the disease
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And possibly more
You may be able to file suit for these damages resulting from your sickness. If a family member died because of the disease, you may be able to bring a suit on their behalf.
What Causes Legionnaires’ Disease Death or Sickness?
A person contracts Legionnaires’ disease after breathing in Legionella bacteria. These bacteria are found naturally in lakes and streams but can grow and spread into human-made water systems, which is when they become a problem.
Legionella bacteria can grow in places like plumbing systems of large buildings, hot tubs, whirlpool spas, pools, water tanks, and cooling systems. If the area holding the water has not been disinfected and cleaned correctly, these bacteria can grow.
When water is contaminated by Legionella bacteria, humans can breathe it in through vapors or mists in the are. When this happens, it may cause one of two forms of the illness legionellosis. Legionnaires’ disease is one of those forms. Most people do not die from Legionnaires’ disease, but those who have compromised immune systems, are age 50 or older, or have pre-existing conditions might have a higher risk.
Talk to a Lawyer About the Legionnaires’ Disease Case Against Sheraton for FREE
If you were affected (or believe you might be affected) by the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Sheraton in Atlanta, contact John Foy & Associates today. We have been representing personal injury and wrongful death clients in the Atlanta area (and all throughout Georgia) for more than 20 years. You should not have to pay any costs for developing a disease caused by a hotel’s negligence.
Call us today for a FREE consultation to talk about the details of your situation and how we can help. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (404) 400-4000 or you can contact us here now. We look forward to helping you.