Lawsuit pending on behalf of victim in Saratoga Legionnaires’ outbreak

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Health Department continues to investigate the legionnaires’ outbreak in Saratoga Springs.

The New York Department of Health is investigating 18 cases of legionnaires’ disease in the city.

Two patients at the Wesley Health Care Center died after being diagnosed with the disease.

Earl Johnson’s 86-year-old mother was a patient at Wesley Center and passed away a week after catching legionnaires’.

“She was my everything. Always with her ever since I moved back to town.”

Now Earl is planning to file a lawsuit to get some answers.

“He’s angry, he wants to get to the bottom of this. He wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else,” Attorney Michael Conway said.

Conway is determined to get answers.

Earl says putting his mother in the Wesley Center was the hardest decision he had to make.

“I would have pulled her out of there in a heartbeat if I had known.”

Of the 18 cases that have been reported in Saratoga Springs, 11, including two fatalities, are linked to the Wesley Center.

Conway is preparing a lawsuit, once he obtains documents detailing the source of the outbreak.

“It’s very alarming. In particularly, the lack of information that’s come out of the Department of Health,” Conway said. “What’s certainly sticking out is you are seeing potential sources from more than one place.”

The Department of Health still doesn’t know what caused seven additional cases. They have investigated multiple sources including construction on city water system.

NEWS10 ABC’s Rachel Yonkunas tried to speak with commissioner of public works, but each time was told that he was in back-to-back meetings but that someone is working on getting us more information.

In the meantime, NEWS10 ABC put in a FOIL request after drinking water samples at the Wesley Center came back positive for legionella.

“This is the most vulnerable group in our population. We’re really concerned that so little is being done to protect them.”

When asked what he wants his mother to know, Earl replied, “How much I love her, I did my best.”

Wesley Center has since implemented water restrictions and plans to install new monochloramine treatment for its drinking water system

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