Ohio State paid a $1.2 million settlement last week to the wife of a man who died from Legionnaires’ disease after drinking contaminated water in a building at the OSU Medical Center.
David Morris was an outpatient on the ninth floor of Doan Hall in 2006, where he received a blood transfusion as part of his leukemia treatment.
He drank water that came from a faucet contaminated with the bacteria. He was diagnosed with the disease less than a week later.
Five months after that, in April 2007, Morris died of Legionnaires’
OSU acknowledged that the water was contaminated and that no one at Doan Hall warned patients not to drink water from the faucets.
“A variety of extraordinary safety measures have been implemented … including restrictions on the use of tap water for drinking purposes in areas with high-risk patients,” said David Crawford, a representative for the Medical Center, in an e-mail. “Legionella bacteria is a common risk in most older buildings with extensive plumbing systems, however, we feel the risk of contracting the disease is extremely low due to the safeguards we have in place.”
In the lawsuit Morris’ wife, Sharon, said that the staff at Doan Hall knew the water was contaminated and provided bottled water to patients, but were instructed not to inform patients of the danger.
“We feel that the settlement is fair and helps to compensate the Morris family for the loss of their loved one,” Crawford said.
David Shroyer, the attorney for Sharron Morris, said his client also feels the outcome of the lawsuit is fair.
“Obviously she can’t ever be completely satisfied with what happened,” he said. “But she had two goals: one is to try to get the word out that there was a problem there … and two was for a