Patient sues Rush Oak Park Hospital for negligence in Legionnaires' outbreak

(Photo courtesy of The Office of Sen. Pat Toomey)

A woman is suing Rush Oak Park Hospital after contracting Legionnaires' disease at the facility in July, claiming the hospital failed to take precautions and promptly notify its patients.

The lawsuit alleges the hospital knew about the bacterial outbreak as early as May, when another patient contacted Legionnaires', according to the lawsuit filed Aug. 15 in Cook County circuit court.

Legionella bacteria are transmitted through water droplets in the air, and can cause serious lung infections and possibly death.

Rush Oak Park reported its findings to the state's reporting system, Illinois' National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, and yet still took no action to eliminate the Legionnaires' prior to the plaintiff's exposure between July 15 and 17, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff suffered injuries from the hospital's alleged negligence and is seeking compensation. The lawsuit is seeking a trial by jury.

On July 26, the Illinois Department of Public Health said it was investigating two cases of Legionnaires' reported at the hospital at 520 S. Maple Ave. in Oak Park

A spokesperson for Rush Oak Park Hospital said it does not comment on pending lawsuits. The plaintiff's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.