Two new Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in the Midwest – Milwaukee and Chicago areas

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Legionella bacteria were recently responsible for two new Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. Jules Zacher, PC is a law firm currently representing victims of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks across the country, including one case from the October outbreak in Allentown, PA.

There are nine confirmed Legionnaires’ disease cases involved in a Milwaukee outbreak...[bringing] Milwaukee County’s count of Legionnaires’ disease cases up to 74 since June 1, 2013

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially deadly form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria frequently found in water. People can contract this illness when hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and other large facilities do not properly maintain their water systems. Legionella can enter the body when contaminated water vapor is breathed into the lungs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2013).

There have been multiple outbreaks and sporadic cases across the United States in the past few months.


Two people contracted Legionnaires’ disease at a LA Fitness in a Chicago suburb after being infected by Legionella bacteria while using the facilities. After testing multiple locations at the fitness club, bacteria were found in the hot tub; the shower and pool were negative for Legionella.

Although the gym did shut down the hot tub for disinfection, it is concerning that LA Fitness did not inform its other members of the presence of Legionella bacteria or of the two individuals who became ill. One member expressed his concern, saying that he wished LA Fitness was “more careful and let the people know” (Riley, 2013).


There are nine confirmed Legionnaires’ disease cases involved in a Milwaukee outbreak; five people have been hospitalized for their illness. This outbreak began in November and brings Milwaukee County’s count of Legionnaires’ disease cases up to 74 since June 1, 2013, which is a tremendous increase from Milwaukee’s typical 12 to 14 cases per year (Herzog, 2013).

Other recent outbreaks (Alabama & Pennsylvania)

In October 2013, there was an outbreak involving 14 cases of Legionnaires’ disease at the Glenwood Nursing Home in Alabama; one of these victims died from their illness (Shoals Insider, 2013). There was also an outbreak in Allentown, PA the same month that linked six confirmed cases to a health campus; Jules Zacher is representing one of these victims linked to the health campus (Sheehan, 2013).

About Jules Zacher, PC:

We are a law firm representing victims nationally. Currently, we are working on numerous Legionnaires’ disease cases across the country in Southern California, Las Vegas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York City. We have also had cases in Florida, Maryland, and Arizona.
Legionnaires’ disease is an entirely preventable illness; our goal is to hold facilities (i.e. hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) responsible for the unnecessary illnesses and deaths that resulted from poor water system treatment. It is our hope that they will take greater care and utilize appropriate preventative measures so that future guests or patients do not contract Legionnaires’ disease.

To read more about Legionnaires’ disease, please visit the Journal of Legionella and the Law at

Please also visit our legal website to see the blog and read updates about the firm at

Jules Zacher

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Legionella (Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac Fever). Retrieved from:

Herzog, K. (2013, November 15). 9 new Legionnaires’ cases reported in Milwaukee County in November. Journal Sentinel. Retrieved from:

Riley, M. (2013, November 14). Legionnaires’ disease cases traced to Naperville LA Fitness. NBC Chicago. Retrieved from:

Sheehan, D. (2013, October 30). Six Legionnaires’ disease cases tied to Lehigh County outpatient center. The Morning Call. Retrieved from:

Staff Reports. (2013, October 24). No new cases of Legionella pneumonia reported. Shoals Insider. Retrieved from:

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Jules Zacher
since: 08/2012
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