Point density heat map of residences of patients with Legionnaires disease — Napa County, California, 2022* Image source: CDC.gov
In the summer of 2022, Napa, California, faced a health crisis that left a community in distress. A Legionnaires outbreak, with 14 confirmed exposures and 3 suspected cases, sent shockwaves through the region. Ten individuals required intensive hospital care, underlining the severity of the situation. This post aims to shed light on the situation, targeting both victims and lawyers who can play a pivotal role in seeking justice.
Between July and August 2022, Napa County witnessed an alarming surge in Legionnaires cases, a severe form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. What makes this outbreak particularly concerning is its association with tap water contaminated by an air conditioning cooling unit.
As health officials launched investigations, a startling revelation emerged. All 14 confirmed cases were clustered within a one-mile radius of downtown Napa, where victims either lived, worked, or visited during the outbreak. The source of the Legionnaires outbreak was traced back to Legionella bacteria in the water of facilities equipped with cooling towers. The bacteria’s presence was linked to low levels of chlorine in the water, either due to negligent maintenance practices or equipment malfunctions preventing proper cleaning.
For those affected, and for the legal professionals advocating for them, time is of the essence. California imposes a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit from the date of the incident. With the outbreak occurring in July 2022, the clock is ticking. Victims are encouraged to seek medical attention, consult with an experienced attorney to evaluate the possibility of a lawsuit and to consult with experts on exposure and causation. Lawyers specializing in personal injury and public health litigation are urged to step forward and assist those affected in pursuing justice. Please visit our Attorney’s referral page for more information.
Learn more about Legionnaires’ Disease Claims and Compensation in addition to the percentages of deaths to likely exposures.
To protect yourself and be informed about your rights if you have become ill or injured on a cruise from disease causing bacteria you should contact a lawyer that handles those cases. Click to schedule an appointment or call 1-866-508-5373.
* The high-risk zone is defined as the area within a 1.0-mile (1.6-km) radius from the center of a circle surrounding the patients’ residences plotted on a point density heat map generated using ArcGIS Pro (version 3.0; Esri).