• Man diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease files complaint against the Guest House at Graceland

    By: Kristin Leigh

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Guest House at Graceland is named as the defendant in a recent lawsuit, which was filed by a patient who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease after a recent outbreak at the hotel in Whitehaven.

    Kenneth Dawson was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease after staying at the Guest House, according to the complaint, which was filed in Shelby County Circuit Court on August 1.


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    The Shelby County Health Department forced the hotel to close its pool area in June, after nine guests were diagnosed with Legionnaries’ disease. The pool area has since reopened, and it’s safe for visitors.

    Dawson was hospitalized for nearly a month, from June 18 to July 15, according to the complaint.

    “He was intubated with a ventilator for several weeks in the intensive care unit,” the complaint states. “Dawson continues to experience weakness, coughing, and other symptoms as he seeks to recuperate.”

    The Shelby County Health Department forced the hotel to close its pool area in June, after nine guests were diagnosed with Legionnaries’ disease. The pool area has since reopened, and it’s safe for visitors.

    FOX13 reached out to Graceland officials, but no one responded to messages via phone and email as of Thursday evening.

    Legionnaires' disease is caused by bacteria called Legionella, and is usually found in warm water. It's contracted when people breathe in mist or vapor containing the bacteria.

    The complaint alleges negligence. Dawson argues employees and managers at The Guest House at Graceland failed to maintain the hotel in a “reasonable and safe condition.”

    Visitors who stayed at the hotel between May 15, 2017 and June 26, 2017 could have been exposed to Legionnaires’ Disease, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

    Dawson’s attorney was not available to speak on camera Thursday.

    Dawson and his wife, who’s also named as a plaintiff in the complaint, are asking for no less than $25,000 in damages.


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