Minnesota - Legionella Prevention and Costs of Legionnaires Outbreaks

Historical Headlines Related to Legionella

March 7, 2024

According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), both epidemiologic and laboratory data point to areas of the municipal water system as the source of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the northeastern Minnesota city of Grand Rapids. Fourteen cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed since April 2023. MDH determined the municipal water supply was the only common exposure reported by the people who got sick. (Source)

June, 2023

Water Wisdom, the Itasca Waters' free online series continues featuring Trisha Robinson. She presents “Water-borne disease and symptoms: Can swimming make me sick?”. Robinson is an epidemiology supervisor of the Water Borne Disease Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health and oversees the routine surveillance activities, outbreak investigations and health promotion activities for all waterborne pathogens, including Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Legionella and free-living amoeba. (Source)

May 10, 2023

After two cases of Legionnaires' disease were contracted at Woodland Garden Apartments, the Minnesota Department of Health has issued a health advisory . The cases, which were diagnosed in October and December, are believed to have the same source of exposure. "Two cases of Legionella with a common apartment building is concerning as outbreaks in this setting are relatively rare," MDH said in its health advisory. (Source)

January 13, 2022

A Health Advisory for Legionnaires Disease was issued by the Minnesota Department of Health in the Duluth area and surrounding counties. Two confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s Disease were reported in Duluth at the Woodland Gardens Apartments, a Senior, low-income apartment building. One case happened in October, the other in December. (Source)

December 29, 2022

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported of being informed regarding two laboratory-confirmed Legionnaires’ disease cases with onsets in October 2022 and December 2022 connected with the Woodland Garden Apartments in Duluth. Two Legionella cases with a common apartment building is concerning as outbreaks in this setting are relatively rare. The disease carries high morbidity or mortality and this setting is a seniors-only apartment building, which increases the concern as advanced age is a major risk factor for Legionnaires’ disease. (Source)


In June 2021, state health officials investigated Legionnaires’ cases linked to Albert Lea hotel and found at least two lab confirmed cases. The cause was linked to the hotel's spa.

Reported Settlements and Jury Awards

Given the incidence of legionella in Minnesota, and its associated harm, personal injury claims and litigation are also becoming more frequent. Reported settlements and jury awards are unavailable at this time.

State Cap on Jury Awards

Minnesota does not have 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 Liabliity and Risk for Minnesota – High

No, ASHRAE 188 is not 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 info@legionellacontrolsystems.com

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