Source: https://www.seacoastonline.com, January 10, 2019
by: Max Sullivan
Stephen Uliano had no idea where he contracted pneumonia this summer until he read a news story two months later about a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak at Hampton Beach.
Now Uliano, who came to Hampton Beach with his girlfriend from New York this July, has filed the seventh lawsuit brought against the Sands Resort for negligence in exposing him to Legionella, alleging it caused his seven-day hospitalization at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. The suit was filed Wednesday in Rockingham Superior Court against the Sands ownership, as well as Aqua Paradise Pools & Spas, which installed and maintained its hot tub.
State and federal officials say 19 people came down with Legionnaire’s disease while visiting the beach between June 10 and Aug. 26, one person dying afterwards, and they said last year the Sands was considered a likely source of the bacteria that causes the rare form of pneumonia.
Uliano, of Middle Granville, New York, claims he visited the Sands between July 1-8 and that he used the hotel’s showers, faucets and other potable water systems. He said he also spent time near the hotel’s spa area, which contained a hot tub believed to be a source of the bacteria. Hot tubs are considered likely sources of Legionella because they produce airborne water particles, which must be breathed for people to contract the disease.
On July 5, Uliano began to experience pneumonia-like symptoms including fever, chills, nausea, headaches, neck pain and vomiting, according to the suit, and he was admitted to Portsmouth Regional Hospital’s satellite emergency room in Seabrook. He said he then was brought to the hospital’s main campus in Portsmouth where he spent the next seven days, then returned home to New York where he was treated for pneumonia.
Uliano claims he read about the outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in September, then went back to his primary care physician. His doctor ordered tests, according to the suit, that established he had contracted Legionnaire’s disease.
Uliano is suing for damages including medical expenses, loss of income, severe pain and mental suffering and substantial inconvenience, though no specific figure is named.
Sands owner Thomas Saab has not commented on previous lawsuits and said in December he would continue to decline requests for comment on future legal action filed against his hotel. He has said his hotel has cleaned its water supply of the bacteria since the cluster was identified and closed the hot tub for good.