Ohio residents who travel may be interested to learn that a lawsuit was filed on Aug. 12 against an Atlanta hotel after one guest died and potentially dozens of others became sick due to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. According to reports, the outbreak may have affected those who stayed at the downtown Atlanta hotel between June 22 and July 15.

Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection caused by a bacteria called Legionella. These bacteria are found naturally occurring in freshwater lakes and streams. When the bacteria grows and spreads through the water systems, it can be ingested by people, resulting in fevers, coughs, shortness of breath and chills.

The man who filed the lawsuit stated that he began to feel unwell a few days after staying at the hotel. He stated that food and water began to have an off-taste. The man then started having issues with his body temperature and had episodes of confusion and fatigue. This led to a diagnosis of Legionnaire’s disease. He was released after spending several days in the hospital; however, he was told by doctors that anxiety and fatigue symptoms may continue for six to eight weeks. Approximately 40 others, many of whom were staying at the hotel for conferences, are now being represented in the lawsuit.

When commercial or residential water systems are not properly maintained, people can become seriously ill or even die from harmful bacteria. In the event a person dies due to negligence, an attorney could determine if his or her family has a wrongful death claim. The attorney may work to gather evidence that shows that the death was caused by negligence. If the responsible party refuses to provide compensation, the attorney may take the claim to court.