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Exposure to Legionella Bacteria - Failure to Diagnose - The Wainwright Case

Filed under Misdiagnosis, Other Cases

The Wainwright Case

Lloyd Wainwright was a Vietnam Veteran, who had been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. Because of that, he had ongoing lung issues, which required monitoring and treatment. Unfortunately, over the years and due to the exposure, he contracted lung cancer. As a Veteran, he was entitled to treatment at the Veterans Administration healthcare facilities.

Throughout 2010 and 2011, Mr. Wainwright received treatment at the VA Hospital in Oakland, Pennsylvania. Towards June of 2012, he became considerably worse with his lung cancer to the point that he was receiving care from the VA and hospice-related type care.

However, unfortunately, during one of his stays at the VA Hospital, he was exposed to the Legionella bacteria.

For several months, the Legionella bacteria flourished in the water system at the VA Hospital, causing periodic outbreaks. Throughout 2011 and 2012, the VA staff at the hospital in Oakland, Pennsylvania tried to contain the outbreaks. However, numerous individuals were being exposed and became sick from the Legionella bacteria.

Mr. Wainwright was given a weekend pass to go home to enjoy himself, however, towards the end of the weekend, he began suffering flu-like symptoms and pneumonia-like symptoms. He was rushed back to the VA where he was found to have pneumonia, and after a delay in testing for Legionnaire’s Disease, it was determined that he had Legionella pneumonia.

Unfortunately, because of Mr. Wainwright’s compromised immune system, as well as his lung cancer, the Legionella pneumonia was too much for his body to handle, and he died on July 4, 2012 as a result of Legionella bacteria.

A claim was made against the United States as the agent for the Veterans Administration and a lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Numerous documents were exchanged, however before the case proceeded far into discovery, the parties were able to resolve the case for a substantial sum.