Germany Greer, who stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel this summer, filed a lawsuit against the establishment, alleging their negligence led to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that killed one person and sickened others.
Greer got sick last month after photographing a conference at the hotel from June 27 to July 1. He said that food and water tasted strange to him and then he lost his appetite. He later felt hot and cold and suffered bouts of confusion and fatigue.
When Greer went to his son’s house in the middle of July, he started to sweat a lot and couldn’t get out of his vehicle when he arrived. His son took him to a doctor who believed he had Legionnaires’ disease and sent him to a hospital for more tests.
Greer was in the hospital for several days and tested positive for the disease. Even though he has been out of the hospital for weeks now, he still has anxiety and feels tired.
Legionnaires’ is a severe type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. It can cause symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and chills.
The bacteria grows naturally in freshwater, but becomes an issue when it grows in man-made building water systems, like faucets, hot water tanks and plumbing systems in large buildings.
State and county health officials are investigating the outbreak among people who stayed at the hotel between June 22 and July 15. Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said that there has been 12 lab confirmed cases of the disease, including one person who died, and 63 probable cases.
“You do not get an outbreak of Legionella unless someone did something that was grossly negligent,” Matt Wetherington, one of Greer’s lawyers, said.
Greer is requesting a jury trial and compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life.