There are many types of incidents that can merit a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania: car accidents, fatal workplace accidents and incidents at medical facilities which stem from negligence, among others. Recently in South Whitehall, an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease has prompted a
wrongful death claim
from the families of two men who apparently died from the disease.
According to the suit, the three men visited a building which was home to several medical offices. The men had apparently spent time near a decorative fountain, which normally would be an insignificant part of a trip to the doctor's office, but the Pennsylvania Department of Health later determined the foundation to be the source of a Legionnaire's Disease outbreak. The men contracted the disease, and tragically two died as a result. The men had visited the facility in August and September of last year, but one passed away in late August while another died in March of this year.
The suit states that typical symptoms of Legionnaire's Disease, including headaches, fever and coughing, were present in one of the men during his hospitalization. Individuals can contract the disease from inhaling the bacteria that causes the disease. The bacteria can reside in vapor or mist that occurs near sources of water. Those with weakened immune systems, those who smoke and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the potentially fatal disease.
In wrongful death cases like this, plaintiffs can request trial by jury, as has been done in this case. The plaintiffs seek damages more than $50,000, which could help with lost wages, medical expenses, and funeral costs. Damages in a wrongful death case can encompass many elements, as the sudden loss of a person can be destructive on both an emotional and financial level. Typically, damages may also include loss of companionship and pain and suffering.
Source: The Morning Call, "
South Whitehall Legionnaire's deaths prompt lawsuit
," Laurie Mason Schroeder, July 18, 2014