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Patient Sues Mount Carmel After Contracting Legionnaires' Disease

Mount Carmel's new hospital in Grove City.
Mount Carmel Health System
Mount Carmel's new hospital in Grove City.

A man who contracted Legionnaires’ disease after a stay at Mount Carmel Grove City filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the hospital system.

Martin Brown was one of the first patients at the brand new hospital, which opened in late April. He stayed for 10 days after a heart surgery, but started feeling ill after he went home.

Doctors then diagnosed him with Legionnaires' disease.

"They were very concerned at the beginning because he had a fairly significant case of pneumonia and it could have gone either way," says Brown's lawyer David Shroyer. "He seems to be on the mend now and they're certainly happy for that."

Shroyer says it's likely that Brown contracted the disease from showering at the facility. Legionnaires’ is often contracted through airborne water from a shower, air conditioner or boiler system.

So far there are 16 Legionnaires’ cases tied to the hospital. One person died.

Following the outbreak, water restrictions were lifted on all patient floors at the Grove City hospital.

In a statement, Mount Carmel chief clinical officer Richard Streck said the health system is using temporary water filters to block the transmission of legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’.

“We are in the process of implementing a long-term solution to ensure legionella is effectively controlled moving forward,” Streck said. “The long-term solution includes multiple barriers, including secondary disinfection and extensive testing.”

Including the Mount Carmel incidents, there have been more than 45 cases of Legionnaires' in Franklin County this year.