Mount Carmel sued by patient diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease

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One of the first patients at the new Mount Carmel Grove City hospital has become the first patient to file a lawsuit as a result of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak there.

Martin J. Brown, 71, of Orient in Pickaway County was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, according to the lawsuit. David Shroyer, Brown’s attorney, said he filed the suit Tuesday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Brown and his wife Rebecca against Mount Carmel Grove City, Mount Carmel Health System, its parent, Michigan-based Trinity Health and others.

Brown is one of at least 16 patients from Mount Carmel Grove City hospital who have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, according to Franklin County Public Health. One of those patients, Deanna “Dee” Rezes, 75, of Grove City, died on June 2 after being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

On April 27, Brown went to the emergency room at Mount Carmel Grove City for chest pains and was admitted to Mount Carmel West hospital. When Mount Carmel Grove City opened the next day, April 28, Brown was transferred there, the suit states.

In fact, Brown was the first patient to have open heart surgery at Mount Carmel Grove City and the second to have a heart catheterization procedure, Shroyer said.

Brown probably was exposed when he took showers and drank water at the hospital, Shroyer said. Brown went home May 7 but started feeling ill the next day. He was diagnosed with pneumonia on May 13, but test results confirmed on June 4 that he had Legionnaires’, Shroyer said.

The Legionella bacteria can spread through a building’s water system and people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to becoming infected with Legionnaire’s disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia.

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