Illinois to pay $6.4M to families of Legionnaires' victims

Family members of patients who died from Legionnaires' disease at Quincy Veterans Home in Illinois and the state attorney general have agreed to nearly $6.4 million to settle negligence lawsuits against the state, according to WBEZ

In 2015, a Legionnaires' outbreak at the state-owned VA facility killed 12 residents and sickened dozens. More cases were reported in 2016, 2017 and 2018, along with two additional deaths linked to the disease.

The taxpayer-funded payouts range from $75,000 to $775,000 and will be sent to the families of a dozen Veterans Home residents after state lawmakers approve the budget for the fiscal year.

The state does not explicitly acknowledge wrongdoing in the legal settlements, according to Illinois State Attorney General Kwame Raoul. An ongoing criminal investigation into the outbreaks is also expected to be resolved soon, Mr. Raoul added. No one has been charged thus far.

At the request of several families, a memorial plaque with the Legionnaires' victims' names on it will go in a new $230 million veterans home being built to replace the old facility, according to the attorney general.

"I'm glad these cases are being settled," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told WBEZ. 

"As to whether it's full justice, I can't really answer," the governor continued. "There is no value you can put on somebody's life." 

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