Indiana - Legionella Prevention and Costs of Legionnaires Outbreaks

Historical Headlines Related to Legionella

September 21, 2023

In Indiana, the Pendleton Correctional Facility faces lawsuits from more than 60 inmates who say exposure to bacteria led to several illnesses. In 2021, one inmate died from Legionnaire's disease at the prison. The Department of Correction subsequently pledged to take action to limit exposure to contaminated water. The inmates in most of the lawsuits complain of respiratory problems and have filed grievances at the prison. When those complaints have been dismissed, they have followed up with appeals to the DOC and eventually federal lawsuits.


April 26, 2023

A family listened to their son’s heartbeat for the first time since his death after donating his heart to a Milwaukee police veteran. The police veteran underwent triple bypass surgery and experienced multiple heart attacks. He spent years undiagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease. “When I came to after my transplant surgery, I wanted to immediately pay things forward and connect with my donor hero’s family to thank them and become a part of their family,” he said. (Source)

March 15, 2023

Warsaw Code Enforcement evaluated three rental property cases. In the first case, a renter said she had been living in her unit for roughly three years and had been experiencing severe water leakage for nearly the entire time, despite making many maintenance requests. The ceiling, walls, floor and windows of the unit were affected by the ongoing leakage as there was water damage marks evident on the wood and suspected mold growing. White said her health is now suffering from the state of her apartment as she has developed legionnaires disease, which is an infection in the lungs that can be caused by breathing in droplets of water. (Source)

August 5, 2022

Marion County Health Department has been inspecting hundreds of pools this summer to prevent illness. These public pool illnesses includ Legionnaires' disease. The MCPHD inspects more than 900 private and public pools year-round. “We do close pools daily, unfortunately. It is not common, but it is about 10% of the time," said pool specialist Michael Furnas, who tests pH levels and disinfectant concentration, like chlorine and bromine. "So, every day, unfortunately, I have to close about one pool in the county or issue an emergency notice, a violation which is a warning where we allow them to self-close and fix the issues. Then, we recheck in the following days." (Source)

May 25, 2022

IDOC (Indiana Department of Correction) issued an update about the outbreak at the Pendleton Correctional Facility. IDOC stated that it properly responded to the outbreak: “IDOC also took immediate steps to limit further exposure to the bacteria for both staff and incarcerated individuals by installing point of use filters on shower heads within the facility, which provide a barrier against waterborne contaminants, including Legionella bacteria, allowing the incarcerated population to shower safely." (Source)


Indiana Department of Correction officials reported an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in December 2021 among inmates at the Pendleton Correctional Facility. (Source)


Three Indiana government employees recovered from Legionnaires’ disease in July 2019, after contracting the bacteria from a cooling tower. Two patients at IU Health University Hospital in Indianapolis died in February 2014 after contracting Legionella pneumonia. These are only a snapshot of the cases reported to local health departments in Indiana.

Reported Settlements and Jury Awards

Given the incidence of legionella in Indiana, and its associated harm, personal injury claims and litigation are also becoming more frequent. Reported settlements and jury awards range from $255,000 to $5.2 million.

State Cap on Jury Awards

Pursuant to IC 34-18-14-3, Indiana has a cap on the award amounts allowable by law. In addition, public health notices and negative media attention can also lead to business interruption and reputation damage.

Groundwater Temperature Risk Level – Medium

Overall Liability and Risk for Indiana – Medium

Yes, ASHRAE 188 is part of the state code

Legionella and Water Management Plan Assistance

Need help? For Legionella consulting and services, Water Management Plans, Legionella Control Systems, and Legionella testing please contact us at Legionella Control Systems at 888-416-8626 or

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