LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – A California man has filed suit against Caesars Entertainment claiming he contracted Legionnaires’ Disease during a visit to the Rio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino last spring.
Christopher Moncado, 50, of Long Beach, California, filed the suit in Clark County District Court against Caesars Entertainment Tuesday.
After reports of illness at the Rio, which is owned and operated by Caesars, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) conducted testing which revealed the presence of the Legionella bacteria in the Rio’s water supply, prompting chlorine disinfection of the building’s pipes. According to the lawsuit, Moncado’s Legionnaires’ disease was confirmed by the SNHD to have originated at the Rio.
Moncado’s attorney, Peter Wetherall, states, “Chris was hospitalized and diagnosed over six months ago, but Caesars has done nothing to alleviate his burdens. Caesars has all of Chris’s medical records and all his bills, but has offered nothing in settlement. Unfortunately, Caesars seems more intent on starving Chris into submission than doing the right thing, so we’ll let a jury decide what Caesars owes,” Wetherall said.
In addition to his hospitalization, Moncado said he continues to suffer from generalized weakness, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, reduced energy, and pain with activity. He also said he has ongoing joint pain, a decrease in strength, and overall de-conditioning. Mr. Moncado previously enjoyed hiking, walking and running with his dog, and weightlifting. He is now depressed and stressed, and worried about what the future holds. He also reports not feeling as clear-headed as he was before his diagnosis. As a direct result of his Legionnaire’s disease, Mr. Moncado continues a regimen of bactrim for breathing and respiratory issues, an inhaler which has the side-effect of making him shaky, and more intensive breathing treatments at his doctor’s office, which also make him shaky. Moncado has been on disability since his diagnosis.
According to the SNHD, Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling aerosol droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria. Sources of the aerosol can include showers, hot tubs, faucets, cooling towers, misters, and decorative fountains. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. Most people exposed to Legionella will not get sick; however, it can cause severe illness and sometimes result in death. Generally, people don’t spread Legionnaires’ disease to others. The symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.
The SNHD is still actively investigating additional reports of illness at the Rio, so case numbers are subject to change; however, the following has been found:
*7 confirmed Legionnaire’s Disease
*30 suspect Legionnaire’s Disease
*60 suspect Pontiac Fever