Virginia - Legionella Prevention and Costs of Legionnaires Outbreaks
Historical Headlines Related to Legionella
March 8, 2023
An insurer has duty to defend a Legionella bacteria suit in a case where a man was allegedly injured when he inhaled Legionella bacteria while using a hot tub and pool at a Best Western. Neither the bacteria exclusion nor the pollution exclusion applied to bar coverage. (Source)
October 27, 2022
Stafford County Public Schools is conducting tests before turning on water fountains that have been turned off since before the pandemic. In 2020, the school division shut down and sealed all water fountains as a strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many fountains have not reopened since then, and the school division has been providing bottled water to students and staff. “Since the fountains had not been in use for two years, we wanted to test them to make sure there had been no bacteria growth,” Fulmer said. (Source)
May 25, 2022
Professor Kathy Gee has earned a grant for rainwater testing research. The results will be used to evaluate the risk to human health posed by rainwater harvesting systems containing Legionella. (Source).
Legionnaires’ disease continues to make headlines today. In 2019, health officials began scouring sites in Chesterfield County following 10 cases of Legionnaires' disease among older adults and people with underlying medical conditions. Health officials said culture results indicated the presence of live Legionella bacteria at Johnston-Willis Hospital, Reynolds Metal Company, Ice Zone and the U.S. Defense Supply Center. In 2018, there were 236 cases of Legionnaire’s disease in Virginia.
In 2018, there were 236 cases of Legionnaire’s disease in Virginia.
Reported Settlements and Jury Awards
Given the incidence of legionella in Virginia, 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
Virginia 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 Virginia – High
No, ASHRAE 188 is not part of the state code