In a newly decided New Jersey wrongful death and survivorship action, Vellucci v. Allstate Insurance Company, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that prevailing industry and regulatory standards do not impose a duty on commercial landlords to take pro-active measures to ensure that a commercial office building’s water supply is not contaminated by the Legionella bacteria. In this case, the decedent’s place of employment was located in a commercial office building owned and managed by the defendant, a large and sophisticated real estate investment trust. Plaintiff claimed that the decedent had contracted Legionnaires’ disease in December 2004 when he was exposed to a water-borne pathogen in the building’s water supply system. In affirming the trial court's dismissal of the case on defendant's motion for summary judgment, the Appellate Division held that, absent evidence that the defendant landlord actually knew or should have known, through the exercise of reasonable maintenance measures, that the building’s water supply had been contaminated with the Legionella bacteria prior to decedent’s case, the defendant landlord is not liable for decedent’s demise.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of the negligence of another, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer after seeking prompt medical attention. An experienced lawyer can seek the compensation you deserve from the parties who are legally responsible.