Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease at The Sands Resort, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Two central Massachusetts women are suing the Hampton, NH, resort at the center of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Nine of the 15 individuals sickened during the outbreak stayed at or visited The Sands Resort at Hampton Beach, located at 32 Ashworth Avenue. At least 12 of those sickened were hospitalized, and one victim – a senior citizen – died away.

According to court documents, Louise M. Pare of Gardner and Celeste M. Billington of Templeton are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages, alleging negligence by the Sands personnel in maintaining the hot tub and spa area. The lawsuit, which was filed in Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, NH, also claims that issues associated with the water distribution systems at the hotel resulted in the two contracting the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness.

Sands Resort Management Co. Inc., Andrew Escamilla, Daniel Emerson, Aqua Paradise Pools and Spas, and Sands Realty Trust members Leonard J. Samia, Thomas Saab, and Edward Saab are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, which claims negligence and a failure to warn residents of the problem.

Damages claimed
According to court documents, Pare and Billington rented condominium unit 224 at The Sands Resort on August 3-5. The lawsuit alleges Pare got “chills” on August 5 and woke up in the early-morning hours of August 6 “soaked in sweat.”

The lawsuit states Billington also became sick the night of August 5, and both women were diagnosed with legionellosis, another name for Legionnaires’ disease.

In the lawsuit, both women claim they sustained damages, including “medical expenses, loss of income, severe pain and mental suffering” as a result of their illnesses.

Legionella found
On Sept. 2, state health officials announced that preliminary testing showed increased levels of Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – in numerous areas at The Sands Resort:

  • hot tub
  • water heater
  • outdoor shower hose
  • sinks and shower heads in three guest rooms.

Legionnaires’ info

Legionnaires’ disease – also known as Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia (lung infection). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur in the U.S. annually. However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Legionellosis symptoms
Legionnaires’ disease is similar to other types of pneumonia. Symptoms can resemble those of flu, such as:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

High-risk categories
Anyone can become sick from Legionella, but those most susceptible to infection from the bacteria include:

  • people 50 years old or older
  • smokers, current and former
  • people with chronic lung disease (COPD)
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • people on specific drug protocols (for example, corticosteroids).

Where do Legionella live?
Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources, such as:

  • large plumbing systems
  • showers and faucets
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • decorative fountains
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • water systems, such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • the cooling towers of air conditioning systems.