Alabama woman claims she contracted Legionnaire’s disease at New Orleans hotel

Michelle Keahey Oct. 27, 2012, 11:03am

NEW ORLEANS - An Alabama woman has filed a lawsuit against a New Orleans hotel claiming that she contracted Legionnaire’s disease due to a lack of chlorine in the hotel’s swimming pool and hot tub.

Denise Carter and Mark Carter filed suit against Homewood Suites Manager, Apple Seven Services New Orleans L.P., Apple Services Management Services New Orleans GP Inc., Apple Reit Six Inc., Ecolab Inc. and Federal Insurance Co. on Oct. 16 in federal court in New Orleans.

Denise Carter claims she traveled with her spouse on a business trip to New Orleans on Nov. 7, 2011.  They checked into the Homewood Suites in Poydras Street in New Orleans. On the morning of Nov. 8, she ate breakfast, used the hotel gym facilities, the indoor pool and the hot tub.  The couple checked out of the hotel on Nov. 11, 2012 and she was too sick to eat dinner.

According to the lawsuit, she called her internist on Nov. 14 and was referred to Huntsville Hospital in Alabama for dehydration. She was diagnosed with pneumonia, treated with antibiotics, but her respiratory condition worsened. She was placed in intensive care and placed on a ventilator. By Nov. 17, she was diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease. She was released from the hospital on Nov. 29, 2011.

The Louisiana Department of Public Health conducted a preliminary investigation into the infection with Legionella and obtained maintenance records from the Homewood Suites for the month of Nov. 2011. Carter states that the maintenance logs reflect that the contractors, Ecolab, did not test or monitor the pool or hot on Nov. 6 or 7, 2011.

The logs did reflect that testing on Nov. 5 and Nov. 8 showed there was no free chlorine in the hot tub system.

The defendants are accused of negligence for operating the hotel and pool in such a manner as to cause the serious medical conditions suffered by Denise Carter, for negligently maintain the pool and/or hot tub, which allowed Legionella bacteria to flourish and subsequently infect Carter when she used the hot tub.

The defendants are also accused of negligent supervision and negligently failing to train employees on the proper maintenance schedule and the proper maintenance procedures required for the safe operation of the hot tub and/or pool.

Carter is seeking an award of actual damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, lost wages, loss of consortium, interest, and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by John H. Denenea Jr. and Brian G. Shearman of Shearman Denenea in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-2527

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