COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The lawyers who represent the Rezes family filed a wrongful death lawsuit today. Deanna Rezes, 75, was one of the first people diagnosed and the only fatality among those that contracted Legionnaires’ disease.
Rezes’ family wants her remembered as “Dee.” Lawyer Matthew Wolf of The Dohaney Law Firm, LLC. says she died within a week of her first symptoms.
“She began to have symptoms of a cough–fever aches and chills,” said Wolf.
Rezes spent two days at Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital. She was admitted on May 18 with pulmonary hypertension. After being released and home for more than a week, she was rushed back to the hospital. This time the diagnosis was Legionnaires’ disease. Rezes died on June 1.
“This family trusted Mount Carmel. They trusted the physicians they had been going to at Mount Carmel Hospital and Mount Carmel doctors for a
significant portion of their lives,” said Wolf. “Deanna and her husband trusted the fact that they could go there and get better, when in fact, that was the worst place she could be.”
Wolf says the lawsuit is not about money. The lawsuit names the hospital and a number of construction companies that built the new building that opened in mid April. Wolf says that the hospital put profits
over people by rushing to open the new hospital in April, causing unsanitary conditions that allowed legionella bacteria to fester and develop in the pipes.
“The CDC says when this happens in a hospital you have a 25 percent mortality rate…and there’s a higher standard here that Mount Carmel and other entities need to be held accountable for,” said Wolf.
NBC4 asked Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital for a statement regarding the latest lawsuit. The hospital sent part of a statement from a two-week-old news release stating, “We apologize to everyone who was affected by this. There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our patients and colleagues. Every day we are trusted with people’s lives and we take that responsibility seriously. We are implementing a long-term solution to ensure legionella is effectively controlled and that this doesn’t happen again.”
You can read the entire news release from June 13 by clicking here.