CANDLER, SC (FOX Carolina) – The family of a Western North Carolina man who went into a coma while battling Legionnaires’ disease has hired the attorneys who represented victims of the Atlanta outbreak to represent them, according to a news release from Stewart Trial Attorneys.
More than 130 people got sick from Legionnaires’ disease or the less-severe Pontiac fever after visiting the NC Mountain State Fair at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher, officials have confirmed.
Two deaths have attributed to the outbreak. A South Carolina woman’s obituary listed Legionnaires’ disease as her cause of death after she passed away on Tuesday.
Stewart Trial attorneys said Michael Petrey of Candler and his family attended the last day of the fair on September 15. Soon after, Petrey got sick and was hospitalized on September 23. He was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease and his health continued to decline. On October 2, Petrey went into a coma and was put on dialysis. The lawsuit sais Petrey recently came out of the coma and was moved to ICU where he remains Wednesday. “He is weak, extremely fatigued and having serious issues with his kidneys,” the author of the news release stated.
The Petrey family has hired attorneys L. Chris Stewart of Stewart Trial Attorneys, Matt Wetherington of the Wetherington Firm, and Lindsey Curcio of the Curcio Law Group to represent them.
Stewart and Wetherington also represent more than 100 victims of the Legionnaires' disease outbreak at an Atlanta hotel from earlier this summer, and they also represent multiple families in the Asheville area who are exhibiting Legionnaire’s Disease symptoms.
According to the CDC, Legionnaires’ disease is a form of bacterial pneumonia (lung infection) that people may develop after they breathe in mist or accidentally swallow water into the lungs that contains Legionella bacteria, which are found naturally in the environment.
Officials say people at highest risk for Legionnaires' disease include individuals 50 years or older, current or former smokers, and those who have a chronic lung disease or a weakened immune system.