WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – The family of a woman who died after contracting Legionella is suing the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel, claiming they were negligent in maintaining the pool and hot tub.
According to a lawsuit filed on Sept. 25, Vera E. DeWeese died on Aug. 2, 2018, from sepsis due to Legionella Pneumonia after using the pool and hot tub while attending a wedding the month prior.
“In the days leading up to her death, DeWeese experienced significant pain and suffering, including, but not limited to, severe headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, fever, body pain, and anxiety.”
The lawsuit claims Hart Hotels Inc., who owns the Harbor Hotel “was negligent, grossly negligent and reckless in its maintenance of its pool and hot tub. As a result of defendant’s repeated failure to properly maintain the pool and hot tub at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.”
The Harbor Hotel emailed guests who stayed at the hotel between July 16 and Aug. 1, 2018, that “[o]ur hotel is working with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), which, based on preliminary test results, has identified the pool and hot tub as a likely source of Legionella . . . .”
According to the lawsuit, on or around March 23 and April 5, 2018, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) conducted inspections of the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel’s swimming pool and spa facilities and found multiple violations of Department of Health regulations that led to the pool’s closure in March and May 2018.
The lawsuit also claims that “the hotel employees charged with maintaining the pool and spa area and those that supervised them were not properly trained in pool and spa maintenance, including, but not limited to the administration of chemicals and testing of chemical levels, and did not understand how to properly balance pool and spa chemicals or the importance of doing so.”
The New York State Department of Health warned of potential exposure to legionella bacteria in Schuyler County at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel on Aug. 9, 2018.
DeWeese’s family is seeking damages for negligence, wrongful death, and pain and suffering.
18 News has reached out to Hart Hotels Inc. but has not yet received a response to the lawsuit.