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Making a Claim for Legionnaires' Disease

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Legionnaires' Disease is caused by breathing in a fine spray of water which carries the legionella pneumophila bacterium. It can lead to pneumonia which, to some people, can be fatal.

The legionella bacteria are generally found in defective or poorly maintained water systems and can be spread by breathing in contaminated water particles from equipment such as showers, industrial sprays, air conditioning units and Jacuzzis.

What are the symptoms?

The incubation period of Legionnaires' Diseases can range anywhere from two to 19 days, but averages six to seven days after exposure. Symptoms include:

Symptoms tend to get worse during the first four to six days with patients usually recovering thereafter. There is a 10-15% chance of death and this can be higher in certain groups of patients, such as older people and smokers.

Making a compensation claim for Legionnaires' Disease

Before we can pursue a claim, it will be necessary to establish exactly what caused the outbreak of the disease in the first place.

If the source is identified then the site or equipment operators could be held liable for the illness unless they can prove it was not reasonably practicable to prevent exposure to the bacteria.

It is possible to make a compensation claim for Legionnaires' Disease for breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 or the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988, depending on when and where the disease was contracted. It will need to be established that the operators have not complied with the relevant Codes of Practice.

Protecting everyone at risk

The hazards associated with Legionnaires' Disease should be well known to operators of equipment and buildings which are vulnerable to outbreaks. If it can be established that there have been failures that resulted in an injury or loss to another party then a claim can be made. The regulations currently in place are designed to protect both workers and any who might be at risk of being exposed to any hazardous substance that could affect their health.

Call us today

For further information about claiming compensation for legionnaires disease call our personal injury team on 0800 955 1038, or email us at

Call us now on 0800 955 1038