Exposure to Legionella Bacteria - Failure to Diagnose

Filed under Misdiagnosis, Other Cases

The Evander Case

Mr. Evander was a Vietnam War Veteran, where he was exposed to Agent Orange, and unfortunately, suffered bouts of lung cancer throughout his life. He was able to treat the lung cancer, however, in 2010, his lung cancer returned. Mr. Evander sought care at the VA Hospital, and in late 2011, he went to hospital for chemotherapy treatment. Unfortunately during that time, the VA Hospital was suffering an outbreak of Legionella bacteria, although this was not known to the general public.

For several months, the Legionella bacteria flourished in the water system at the VA Hospital, causing periodic outbreaks. Throughout 2011, the VA staff at the hospital in Oakland, Pennsylvania tried to contain the outbreaks. However, it became impossible and numerous individuals were being exposed and became sick from the Legionella bacteria.

Mr. Evander suffered from pneumonia, and had to be admitted to the VA Hospital, where he had to suspend his treatment for his lung cancer. His treatment was delayed because of the Legionella pneumonia, and after several months, he was cured of the Legionella pneumonia, although he continued to suffer the after effects of tiredness and lethargy throughout the remainder of his life. He unfortunately succumbed to lung cancer in early 2013.

A claim was brought against the VA for his exposure to and suffering from Legionella pneumonia. After suit was filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania, the parties entered into mediation where the case was resolved.

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Publisher: Harry S. Cohen and Associates, P.C.