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EPE TO BE SUED AFTER DISEASE OUTBREAK
July 21,  2017   -   Memphis Business Journal  /   Elvis Express Radio
A Florida family is suing Elvis Presley Enterprises after a recent outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.

The suit, filed July 18 in Shelby County Circuit Court, alleges that Douglas and Marisol Johnson, of Miami Lakes, Florida, checked into the Guest House at Graceland on June 4
while traveling with family and stayed at the hotel for three nights. According to the suit, the plaintiffs came into contact with the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease "through
the normal use of The Guest House at Graceland’s water system."


By June 9, Douglas Johnson began experiencing unusual sleepiness and fatigue and, by the next day, his symptoms worsened to the point where he needed a wheelchair to help
him board his flight back to Florida. He spent over a week in an intensive care unit and is continuing to receive care from his primary care doctors and a pulmonologist, according to
the court documents.

The lawsuit also said that other members of his family developed symptoms consistent with Pontiac Fever, which is caused by the same bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease.

"Plaintiff Marisol Johnson has in the past and will in the future sustain a loss of her husband's services and companionship," the suit said.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for Johnson and his wife for an amount exceeding $25,000 each.

According to Shelby County Health Department public information officer Elizabeth Hart, the department closed the aquatics facilities at The Guest House at Graceland on June 27
due to an epidemiological investigation of Legionnaires' disease cases at the hotel. As of July 19, the health department confirmed nine cases of the illness.

"Due to the investigation, epidemiologists narrowed the window of infection from those who stayed at the establishment any time between May 15, 2017, and June 26, 2017," Hart
said. "As of July 19, the Shelby County Health Department authorized The Guest House at Graceland to reopen the aquatics facilities. Sampling that occurred after remediation
demonstrated no viable legionella bacteria. Moving forward, the establishment will implement their preventive water maintenance plan monthly — instead of quarterly — for the next
six months as well as continue routine sampling on the aquatics facilities."

Hart said that individuals who stayed at the hotel during the time period mentioned and who have symptoms should call the health department's investigation hotline at (901) 222-
9299.

Officials with Elvis Presley Enterprises did not respond to requests for comment by time of publication.

The suit was filed by Minneapolis firm Pritzker Hageman P.A. attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm, along with local counsel, Baker Yates of Bailey & Greer
PLLC.
.

           
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