VA volunteer files suit, says he contracted Legionnaires disease at Oakland hospital

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A Hill District man who volunteered as a greeter at the Veterans Administration University Drive hospital contracted Legionnaires' disease, he claimed in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court today.

The lawsuit by Kenneth Jordan, whose age was not provided in the complaint, is the first by someone who alleges infection as a volunteer, rather than as a patient, following the 2011 and 2012 outbreak that sickened 22 patients and killed five.

Mr. Jordan, an Army veteran who was honorably discharged in 1978 and took a volunteer role through the Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, became a greeter in 2011, according to his complaint. In May 2012, he was admitted with symptoms, and tests found Legionella bacteria, he alleged.

Following a lengthy hospitalization, he requires kidney dialysis three times per week, according to the complaint.

The complaint by attorney Gary M. Lang alleges that the federal government was negligent in its handling of the outbreak.

A Veterans Administration spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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