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Mountain State Fair Legionnaires’ Disease
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I called Matt after several people recommended him. He was very kind and did a very good job on my son’s case. We are very thankful for the work he did. Most importantly, he was never hard to reach and answered every question we had while going through the process. Matt is the only attorney I will ever call in the future.
My husband is a cyclist that did not fair well against an SUV recently. Matt and his team took phenomenal care of us, allowing us not to stress out (too much) about the little things. Matt and his team handled everything with professionalism. We know we made the right call.
So glad I hired this firm after my rearend car accident. Matt embodies the skill set and values I was looking for. He treats every case like a mini war, and was a zealous advocate on my behalf. And he did so in the most competent and skillful manner. He listened, was empathetic and understood my legal and nonlegal problems.
My 85-year old mom was in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist. His love, thoroughness and commitment to her case helped us through this accident and her cancer treatment. She underwent successful lobectomy and chemotherapy and is doing exceptionally well. We are immensely grateful.
It was important to me to get the maximum money I could for my broken neck and arm. After getting jerked around for months by State Farm, I interviewed several firms and chose Mr. Wetherington. I’m glad I did. He forced the insurance company to pay twenty times their last offer to me.
It is an honor to share my experience with Mr. Wetherington. He was able to get answers about what happened in my son’s wreck that other attorney’s were not able to do. I am so thankful for the work that he did and he was very thorough in his explanation of why the vehicle had a “defect.”
My case did not settle. The person that hit me only had minimal policy limits. Fortunately, I had my own insurance, which should have provided more money. My insurance company, Allstate, treated me like garbage. We had to sue them and go all the way to trial, which we won.
- Jane Doe
Matt Wetherington is the attorney who is suing the booting companies. We need to do everything we can as a community to help him succeed. God bless you, Mr. Wetherington!
The best! Great people and always friendly.
Mountain State Fair Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyers
Click here to complete our Legionnaire’s disease questionnaire and intake form.
The Wetherington Law Firm is a national leader in Legionnaire’s Disease cases. We are currently handling over 100 Legionnaire’s disease claims on behalf of victims. We know this area of law very well and will maximize the compensation you are entitled to. Even if you have not tested positive — yet — for Legionnaire’s it is important that you have legal counsel now.
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia caused by bacteria. If you visited the Mountain State Fair and have developed symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, you may be entitled to compensation. The Wetherington Law Firm and Stewart Trial Attorneys are currently accepting these cases. Click here to complete our Legionnaire’s disease questionnaire and intake form.
When you hire us to handle your claim, you can expect us to take the following steps:
- Document important evidence, including the circumstances of your exposure to legionella;
- Identify all entities and individuals that played a role in the incident;
- Obtain all relevant medical records of your treatment;
- Identify all insurance policies that may provide coverage for your injuries or death;
- Work with the top engineering professionals in the country to determine the correct standard of care for each defendant;
- If the victim survives the disease, we fully document the current medical condition and work with the ongoing physicians to understand future medical needs and how much they will cost; and
- Keep you informed every step of the way.
Every case receives a dedicated team of experience lawyers and supporting staff who will keep you informed throughout the case.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionella is a naturally occurring bacteria found in freshwater environments, like lakes, streams, and ponds. Legionnaires’ Disease is a medical condition caused by exposure to legionella. Legionnaires’ disease is associated with a wide variety of respiratory conditions and can lead to serious injury or death. Health departments estimate at least 8,000 people develop Legionnaires’ disease each year in the United States. More than 10 percent of infected people die. Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease are the result of negligence related to building water symptoms.
Legionnaires’ Disease is named after attendees of the 1976 American Legion convention, who contracted the disease, resulting in 200 infections and 29 deaths.
What are the Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires’ disease symptoms include:
- Severe shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
Legionnaires’ disease can also be associated with other symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and confusion. Symptoms usually begin 2 to 10 days after being exposed to the bacteria, but it can take longer so people should watch for symptoms for about 2 weeks after exposure. Although legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in wounds and in other parts of the body, including the heart.
Can I Recover Money for Contracting Legionnaires’ Disease at the Mountain State Fair?
Legionnaire’s disease claims fall under the legal field of premises liability. To win a premises liability action, the injured person must establish:
- The existence of a duty on to protect guests;
- The failure of the culpable party to perform that duty;
- Actual injuries; and
- Proof that the injuries were proximately caused through negligence.
Many personal injury law firms claim that there are no industry standards related to Legionnaires’ disease. Those law firms are using outdated information and are spreading false information. There are federal guidelines for how hotels should inspect for prevent outbreaks of legionella bacteria. These guidelines are detailed in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems. These guidelines establish minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems. Pursuant to the nationally recognized standards, the fair was responsible for taking the following steps to protect its guests:
- Characterize the risk associated with legionella for the building, including identifying and documenting how water is processed and used in the building;
- Perform systematic hazard analysis to identify potential hazards identified in the risk assessment;
- For each “significant” hazard, establish a protocol for managing the hazard, including steps to take if the hazard becomes dangerous;
- Provide documentation and take affirmative steps to confirm that the hazard protocol is followed by all applicable employees.
If the fair or fair vendors failed to failure to follow each of these steps, they may be liable for all injuries and damages caused by their negligence. In many instances, the failure to follow each of these steps can result in a finding of gross negligence warranting punitive damages.
How Much Money Can I Expect to Recover for Contracting Legionnaires’ Disease at the Mountain State Fair?
The main public policy purpose for tort law is compensation. Compensatory damages are money damages awarded to compensate the plaintiff for injuries caused. The system is not perfect. Life, lungs, and freedom from pain cannot be restored. However, compensatory damages can place injured people in the same relative position that he or she was in before the loss by way of monetary compensation. Compensatory damages are categorized as either general damages or special damages.
You Can Recover “General” Damages
General damages are “non-economic” losses, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or mental anguish, all of which have no specific, itemized value. The monetary value of general damage is determined by the jury, and jury verdicts are not consistent. Jury verdicts and settlements vary widely, even for the exact same injury. Respiratory failure from Legionnaires’ disease could be worth $100,000 in one courtroom, and $10,000,000 in a different courtroom. The changes in value are due to the individual plaintiff, the people who show up for jury duty, and the effectiveness of the injured person’s attorney.
You Can Recover “Special” Damages
Special damages are “economic” losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or the cost of hiring permanent in-home medical care, all of which have a specific itemized value and can be calculated on a mathematical basis. Once you obtain and properly authenticate the necessary records to prove that the expenses were incurred, you can recover money for them. It is important to note that only medical expenses “proximately caused” by the exposure to legionella can be recovered. If you would like to learn more about how proximate cause is determined, click here. For simplicity sake, you should know that proximate cause is often highly contested.
You Can Recover Punitive Damages in Special Circumstances
Under certain circumstances, victims of Legionnaires’ disease may be entitled to punitive damages. Most states have the same rules for when punitive damages are appropriate.
The rules for punitive damages can be broken into two parts. First, there must be a showing that the doctor acted willfully or indifferent to the consequences. For example, if the fair had actual knowledge that the amount of legionella bacteria in one of its water supplies was dangerously high and failed to act, the hotel would be liable for punitive damages. Similarly, if the hotel knowingly hired a janitorial staff with a history of failing to comply with water management protocols, the hotel has demonstrated a conscious indifference and would be liable for punitive damages. Second, there is a higher burden of proof for punitive damages. Generally, civil cases must be proved by a “more likely than not” standard. However, punitive damages must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.
Punitive damages are a complex area of law and the straightforward definition above is only half the story. Just know that punitive damages requires very specific facts and is rarely awarded in premises liability cases.
The Victim’s Spouse Can Also Recover Monetary Damages
Legionnaires’ disease does not just upend the life of the victim. The victim’s spouse is also impacted. In North Carolina, a married person has a right to recover for damage to the marital relationship. This is called loss of “consortium.” A loss of consortium in includes loss of the society, companionship, affection, and all matters of value arising from marriage, including contributions to the upkeep of the home. There does not have to be any direct evidence of these losses, but jurors generally take into consideration the nature of the services and all the circumstances of the case.
If the Legionnaires’ Disease Results in a Death, Special Rules Apply
If the exposure to legionella bacteria resulted in a death, the case turns into a wrongful death claim, instead of a personal injury claim. There are special rules and procedures that must be followed. Call us immediately at 470-431-1748.
The Wetherington Law Firm Has Recovered Millions for Victims of Negligent Property Owners
Our attorneys are highly skilled in premises liability laws. In many cases, settlement is not possible until a judge rules that the proper defendants have been named, the claims asserted are valid, and there is enough evidence to proceed forward to a jury trial. By that point, it is too late to fix problems in the case. It is important that you start with an attorney that has the experience and resources necessary to put your case in the best settlement position possible. If the case cannot settle, you need an attorney that will not settle your case for a low amount because he or she is unprepared or afraid of trial. Our attorneys have literally spent months in the court room presenting personal injury cases and obtaining record breaking verdicts. We also have attorneys that have spent years working for defense firms and know the traps that are set by corporations and their insurance companies.
How to Hire the Best Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyers
Hiring an attorney is one of the most important financial decisions you can ever make. There are a number of attorneys who hold themselves out as “experts” who have never tried a case or even settled a case involving serious injuries caused by a property owner’s negligence. It is important that you ask any prospective attorney about his or her experience with premises liability lawsuits, specifically with regard to water protocols. The Wetherington Law Firm has teamed up with Stewart Trial Attorneys to handle claims against the fairand associated contractors.
Complete our Legionnaire’s disease questionnaire and intake form. If we accept your case, it will be on contingency. That means that you do not pay anything up front and only pay us if we win your case. If we do not accept your case, we will help you find a lawyer who can.