Fatal Lung Disease Continues to Spread in North Carolina, but Who is Responsible?

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “Are the laws or rules applying to a wrongful death claim different from a personal injury not involving death?”


The outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal lung illness, continues to spread across North Carolina, with public health officials confirming at least one death. The outbreak has been linked to a hot tub display at a Fletcher fair held from September 6 through September 15.

hot-tub-fun-legionaires-disease-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Personal-Injury-Lawyer-300x225Who is going to be held responsible for the wrongful death and the accumulating damages and losses suffered by the affected people? Only a Charlotte personal injury attorney has the answer to that question. Here at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our skilled lawyers help injured people pursue compensation in cases ranging from premises liability to motor vehicle accidents.


The Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in North Carolina


According to the October 3 report by The Charlotte Observer, the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in North Carolina has been associated with the hot tub display at the Mountain State Fair in the first two weeks of September.

With the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services confirming at least one death and 124 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the state, the number of cases of the disease continues to climb across the state.

Legionnaires’ disease is also commonly referred to as legionellosis, which is a form of atypical pneumonia in patients affected by any type of Legionella bacteria. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include shortness of breath, breathing problems, cough, muscle pain, high fever, and headaches.

The potentially fatal lung condition cannot be spread between people. A person can contract Legionnaires’ disease by getting water containing the Legionella bacteria in their lungs. For example, the bacteria can penetrate your lungs when you breathe in a mist or aspirate.


Liability for Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak

As the number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease continues to grow by the day, who can be held responsible for the outbreak of a potentially fatal lung illness?

In the eyes of North Carolina’s premises liability law, there are many potential parties who may be held accountable for causing a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. More often than not, the owners, operators, and managers of properties where the outbreak occurred are held liable.

Thus, anyone who has contracted or suffered from Legionnaires’ disease should get help from a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to bring legal action against the property where the outbreak occurred, whether it is a hospital, cruise ship, apartment complex, hotel, or any other type of premises.


Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney

Property owners, occupiers, operators, and managers have a duty to maintain their premises in a manner that protects the occupants and visitors from known hazards. The Legionella bacteria is considered a “known hazard” in North Carolina.

However, other parties may be held accountable, too. For example, if you can prove that the persons or entities responsible for the engineering, construction, maintenance, installation, or repair of the building water system were negligent, and the dissemination of the Legionella bacterium was caused by that negligence, you could potentially sue them, as well.

Even in the event of highly publicized Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks, it is not always simple to prove liability, especially for those who do not have a Charlotte personal injury attorney by their side.

Not only will you have to prove that you were exposed to the Legionella bacteria, but also demonstrate evidence that the bacteria was present on someone else’s property where you contracted the disease.

Contact our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, if you were affected by the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in North Carolina. Call us at 704-370-2828 or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.







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