Minneapolis-based attorney Elliot Olsen was retained this week by a retired Chicago-area woman who became sick in the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at Water Oak Country Club.
Last week, the Florida Department of Health in Lake County confirmed
two Legionnaires’ disease cases at Water Oak, a 55-plus retirement community in Lady Lake. Testing performed by the department confirmed the existence of Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – in the clubhouse hot tub.
The 61-year-old woman told Olsen she became ill after visiting her brother at Water Oak. She said she used the hot tub at least five times during the last two weeks of March.
The woman started feeling sick on March 27, and she said she figured that she had the flu as she and her husband drove home on March 28 and 29. On April 2, her husband took her to the emergency room at Palos Hospital in suburban Palos Heights, and she said she was hospitalized for the next 11 days.
Her condition has been exacerbated because she is older than 50 and a smoker with a weakened immune system – three conditions that make her a high risk for contracting Legionnaires’ disease.
Olsen, however, said he is confident his client has a strong case against the club.
“She is no longer in the hospital, but she is still very weak after her battle with Legionnaires’ disease,” Olsen said. “Everybody using the Water Oak hot tub has the rightful expectation that they won’t become seriously ill – and no one should suffer as long as she has.”