TribLive is reporting, based on recently filed court documents, that the Department of Veterans Affairs has settled three more Legionnaires disease claims stemming from the outbreak at its Pittsburgh facility. While no details were provided on the specific settlements of each claim, a federal mediator has filed reports saying that the claims have been resolved in a mediation process.
We’ve been following the Legionnaires outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA in Oakland and O’Hara for some time. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System occurred between February 2011 and November 2012. The outbreak is believe to have sickened 22 people and claimed the lives of up to six people.
One of the recent settlements with the VA included a volunteer that the government argued that he could not sue because the disease was a work-related injury covered by federal workers’ compensation laws. This was an interesting situation for a Legionnaires claim in that it raised the issue of what legal remedies the individual could pursue (tort vs. workers’ compensation) based on their status under the law.