Couple cites government over Legionnaire's disease

By Dan Harkins | Apr 15, 2015


A Pittsburgh couple has sued the U.S. government after the husband contracted Legionnaire's disease at a VA hospital.

John C. McCluskey and Joan McCluskey filed a lawsuit April 2 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the U.S. government, which oversees the VA Medical Center in Pittsburgh.

According to the complaint, the VA Medical Center in Pittsburgh, where John C. McCluskey was treated for several years, was negligent in how it monitored for Legionnaire's disease. After several years of positive tests for the disease in water fountains, the lawsuit states, "rather than reporting the presence of Legionella to the appropriate health officials, officials at the VA Pittsburgh and VA University Drive hospitals attempted to control the outbreak on their own."

The hospital should have been better managed and prepared to eradicate the disease, the lawsuit states.

The McCluskeys seek unspecified damages and court costs. They are represented by attorney Peter D. Friday of Friday and Cox in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, case number: 2:15-CV-00454-JFC.

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