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How Long Do I Have to File a Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit?

Lawsuit form with filler and book. Legionnaires disease lawsuit.

If you have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, you may qualify for a Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit. A Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit is a personal injury claim. You have two years from the date of your injury or discovery of the injury to file a claim. Therefore, contacting a Legionnaires’ lawyer is crucial after diagnosis. In case your loved one has passed away due to the disease, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. You have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.

Lawsuit form with filler and book. Legionnaires disease lawsuit.

What Is Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacterium. This bacterium is found naturally in freshwater sources, such as lakes and reservoirs, and thrives in warm water temperatures ranging from 95 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It can even survive in temperatures as low as 77 degrees. However, when building owners or managers neglect to clean and maintain their water systems, it can lead to an overgrowth of legionella bacteria. People can contract Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling water vapor contaminated with the bacteria. They can also develop a similar, but milder illness known as Pontiac fever. The term used for either Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever is legionellosis.

How Legionnaires’ Disease Is Contracted

Legionella outbreaks in Las Vegas, Nevada, are commonly found in natural bodies of water like rivers, lakes, hot springs, creeks, and streams. However, large outbreaks usually occur in artificial settings, like water systems built for infrastructure, such as plumbing systems, air conditioning systems, and water heaters. Recreational water sources, such as pools, spas, and hot tubs, are common places for Legionella bacteria to grow.

The bacteria can spread through devices that spread water droplets contaminated with the bacteria. These devices are often found in parts of a building that are continuously wet, such as humidifiers, taps, showers, hot tubs, spa pools, and water pipes. Inhaling contaminated water droplets can put you at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

You can’t get Legionnaires’ disease from drinking contaminated water, nor can you catch it from other people who have the condition. The disease is primarily spread through inhaling contaminated water droplets produced by water sprays, jets, or mists from contaminated water sources.

Symptoms and Treatment Options

Pontiac fever is a flu-like illness that has a duration of 2 to 5 days and presents with symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Fortunately, there have been no reported deaths associated with this illness.

On the other hand, Legionnaires’ disease has an incubation period of 2 to 10 days and, in some cases, up to 16 days during outbreaks. The initial symptoms include fever, headache, loss of appetite, malaise, lethargy, and muscle pain. Additionally, some individuals experience diarrhea and confusion. Coughing is also common, with up to 50% of patients producing phlegm. Hemoptysis, or blood-streaked phlegm, is observed in around one-third of patients. The disease’s severity ranges from a mild cough to rapidly fatal pneumonia. Patients can die due to respiratory failure, progressive pneumonia, multi-organ failure, or shock.

Signs and symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease typically include:

  • Feeling like you are unable to take a deep breath.
  • Persistent coughing.
  • Experiencing pain or discomfort in your chest.
  • Running a fever.
  • Experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Legionnaires’ disease can be treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can quickly progress to pneumonia and may require hospitalization for a full recovery.

If you need to be hospitalized, your treatment may include antibiotics administered directly into a vein, oxygen through a face mask or tubes in your nose, and a machine to assist you breathe. Once you start to get better, you may be able to take antibiotic tablets at home. The duration of antibiotic treatment usually lasts between 1 and 3 weeks.

While most people fully recover, it may take a few weeks to feel back to normal.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in Nevada?

State statute of limitations laws determine the time limit for a plaintiff to file a civil lawsuit. The statute of limitations can vary based on the type of claim. In Nevada, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the date when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered.

If the statute of limitations expires, you may lose your right to sue for damages resulting from that wrongdoing or injury.

Are There Exceptions or Extensions to the Statute of Limitations?

In certain situations, the statute of limitations may be temporarily suspended, meaning the time limit for taking legal action will be paused.

The Discovery Rule

The Nevada statute of limitations discovery rule allows for suspending the statute of limitations in certain cases. The victim may not immediately know that they have been injured due to various reasons, such as the injury is not immediately apparent, or the responsible party tries to hide the incident.

In such cases, the discovery rule comes into play, and the statute of limitations clock stops running until the victim discovers or should have discovered the injury. However, a victim cannot intentionally ignore or remain unaware of his or her injuries. The rule considers what a reasonable person would have known or been aware of at the time. This rule aims to ensure that the statute of limitations is fair to victims who may not have been aware of the injury until later.


If the person who was harmed is below 18, he or she is classified as a minor and is not permitted to take legal action. However, the injured party will have two years from the day he or she turns 18 to file a personal injury or premises liability case. If the lawsuit is filed while the victim is still a child, an adult with legal authority must file the case on the child’s behalf.

Wrongful Death

When another party’s negligence causes someone’s death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death.

Steps to Take for Filing a Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit in Nevada

To sue for a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Las Vegas, you must prove:

  • You were exposed to the legionella bacteria.
  • The exposure occurred while you were present on the premises of the person you are suing.
  • The exposure was a result of the owner or operator’s negligence.
  • As a result of this exposure, you contracted Legionnaires’ disease, causing you to suffer damages.

To file a Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit in Nevada, you will have to follow certain steps.

Seek Medical Attention

After contracting Legionnaires’ disease, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will help prevent complications from the disease, and provide you with a formal diagnosis to confirm its contraction. Once you have been diagnosed, you can start tracing the outbreak’s source to identify where it originated from.

Find an Attorney Specializing in Legionnaires Disease Cases

After contracting Legionnaires’ disease, you should seek the services of a Legionnaires’ disease attorney. Your attorney may scrutinize the details of your case and determine whether pursuing a legal claim is viable. If your attorney believes your case has a strong merit, he or she may guide you through the legal process.

Your Legionnaires’ disease lawyer can help identify the source of your illness, gather and prepare evidence, evaluate the damages incurred, and prepare a demand letter to present to the liable party. If the responsible party or their insurer refuses your claim or contests your demand, your lawyer can negotiate to obtain fair compensation for your damages.

Assess Your Damages

To claim compensation for your Legionnaires’ disease, you must first evaluate your incurred damages. Your compensation will depend on the severity of the harm you have suffered. Your financial losses and the impact of the illness on your life will determine the damages you can seek. Your attorney can assist you in assessing the extent of your damages.

Settlement Negotiations

Often, parties may come to a settlement agreement through negotiations, thus avoiding the need for a trial. Your attorney will represent you in these negotiations to ensure fair compensation for your damages. If an agreement is reached, the case can be resolved without going to trial. Settlement talks can happen at any point in the legal process.

File a Lawsuit and go to Trial

If negotiations with the responsible party do not lead to a satisfactory resolution, your attorney can file a Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit on your behalf. Your attorney will initiate an investigation and gather sufficient evidence to support your claim. The formal complaint or lawsuit that your attorney files will outline the case facts, the damages you seek, and the legal basis for holding the defendants responsible. Your attorney will gather evidence, secure witness testimony, build your case, and represent you in court.

The George Bochanis Injury Law Offices was established in 1985. Before opening his office, Mr. Bochanis spent years representing major insurance companies in litigation cases and prior to that was a law clerk to a prominent local district court judge. Our offices have grown from a small one person setting to having its own well known office location on South Ninth Street in Downtown Las Vegas with 15 employees.

Years of Experience: More than 28 years
Nevada Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Nevada State Bar Federal Court of Nevada, 3rd Circuit

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Since opening our doors in 1985, the accident lawyers at the George Bochanis Injury Law Offices have been committed to helping injury victims get full compensation after slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle crashes, workplace injuries, and other personal injuries.

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