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Legionnaires' outbreak leads to wrongful death lawsuit

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in a new, multi-million-dollar medical facility has led to a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio.

A 75-year old woman died shortly after being diagnosed with the disease, which was spread through bacteria in the Grove City hospital's water system. Out of 16 people who contracted the disease, she was the only one to pass away.

Initially, the woman had been admitted for a short stay for pulmonary hypertension. Five days after she was released, she came down with what seemed like the flu. Three days after that, she returned to the hospital. By the time doctors identified what was wrong with her, the couldn't save her.

Legionnaires' disease is a serious lung infection that can be fatal, especially to someone who is very young, very old or already coping with a compromised immune system. It cannot be transmitted from one person to another, but outbreaks have occurred in buildings with closed ventilation and water systems.

The victim's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Mount Carmel Health System, its parent company, the construction company that built the facility and a number of other entities, including "John Doe" corporations and individuals. "John Doe" defendants are used as placeholders until all possible defendants in a lawsuit can be identified when there is doubt about who may or may not be liable in a case. Two other victims of the disease have also filed lawsuits.

In Ohio, surviving spouses, parents and children of those who die due to another's negligence are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. It's wise to find out about your legal options.

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