This publication addresses the highly complex nature of the legal, mechanical and microbiological factors underlying the landmark decision in the Gross v. Baltimore Aircoil, et al. case believed to be the first reported Legionnaire’s disease case wherein a chemical water treater was alleged to owe a general duty to the public to protect it from Legionella related illness. The fundamental legal issues include: (1) the existence of a legal duty by a chemical water treater to prevent the formation of a ubiquitous bacterium; (2) the existence of a legal duty by a chemical water treater to test for or "control" Legionella bacterium; (3) the lack of any statute or regulation establishing the appropriate legal standard of care regarding Legionella prevention or control; (4) the intent of the treater and its customer with respect to the scope of services; (5) the existence of a legal duty for a chemical treater to warn a premises owner about Legionella; and (6) the Plaintiff's burden of proving that insufficient treatment was the legal cause of the injuries.
18-16: A Landmark Legionella Lawsuit: A Case Study Highlighting the Legal
Adam Green, Baker Donelson Bearman, Caldwell&Berkowitz, PC; Janet Stout, Ph.D., Special Pathogens Lab; and Robert Cunningham, Int Water Consult. Inc