Legionnaires’/Infectious Disease

Overview Attorneys

Claims stemming from exposure to Legionella bacteria are rapidly proliferating at an alarming rate and has generated increased claims for personal injuries and economic damages against hotels, contractors, hospitals, and other establishments.

WSHB possesses vast knowledge and trial experience in defending against Legionellosis and infectious disease claims. Attorneys in this practice group are National Monitoring Counsel for multiple clients and consult on Legionellosis and infectious disease cases across the country.

We handle a wide range of Legionnaires’ disease matters, including:

  • Handled dozens of cases in Nevada and California state and federal courts involving Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever
  • Defense of over 1,000 claims of Legionnaires’ disease involving luxury hotels on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Defense of multiple widely publicized Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks
  • Counsel regarding best practices and risk mitigation tools
  • Rapid response and public relations guidance due to Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever outbreak, and investigations by local health departments of Centers for Disease Control
  • Assist property owners and managers interfacing with local health departments to respond to Legionnaires’ disease claims against property owners
  • Defense of major cruise line against claims of Legionnaires’ disease outbreak attributed to contaminated water systems

Representative Matters for Infectious Diseases

  • Represented an international developer of power plants in an action by multiple plaintiffs alleging that jobsite exposure to the fungus coccidioides led to the development of Valley fever. Plaintiffs claimed to have severe pulmonary and cognitive injures as a result. Following a four week jury trial, a complete defense verdict was returned. Based on the special verdict form, the jury found that plaintiffs had not proven causation, a finding upheld on appeal.
  • Defense of major hotel groups in various jurisdictions involving bodily injury and wrongful death claims allegedly caused from exposure to a cooling tower.
  • Represented a global hospitality and entertainment company in the defense of multiple state and federal actions, and hundreds of non-litigated claims of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever following a nationally publicized Legionella outbreak. Provided public relations guidance and interfaced with local health departments regarding ongoing investigation.
  • Currently represent the lead defendant in a series of cases filed in response to the 2012 Hantavirus outbreak in Yosemite National Park. These cases were filed in the U.S. District Courts throughout the country and are currently pending as part of a Multi-District Litigation proceeding in federal court in San Francisco.

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