Mount Carmel hit with 3 lawsuits after Legionnaires' outbreak

Several patients have filed separate lawsuits against Mount Carmel Grove City (Ohio) hospital, claiming the facility did not properly respond to a Legionnaires' outbreak that resulted in 16 confirmed infections and one death, reports CBS affiliate WBNS.

Hospital officials confirmed the presence of Legionella bacteria in the building's hot water system June 13. Officials said the bacteria is likely linked to inadequate disinfection. The hospital disinfected and treated its water supply in February but did not retest it before opening the hospital April 28.

A former patient who tested positive for pneumonia and Legionnaires' filed the first lawsuit against Mount Carmel, according to a separate report from WBNS. A second suit was filed June 14 by an individual who claimed she contracted Legionnaires' after visiting a patient at the hospital. WBNS noted a third lawsuit is also pending.

Mount Carmel told Becker's it is "implementing a long-term solution to ensure legionella is effectively controlled" and to prevent future outbreaks.

"We are committed to doing what is right and fair for these families. We apologize to everyone who was affected by this," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our patients. Every day we are trusted with people's lives, and we take that responsibility seriously."

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