VICTIM: John Pearson perished after contracting legionnaires disease in a Brisbane hospital. His family have welcomed changed to laws requiring stringent testing and reporting for the bacteria.
VICTIM: John Pearson perished after contracting legionnaires disease in a Brisbane hospital. His family have welcomed changed to laws requiring stringent testing and reporting for the bacteria.

Family of legionnaire’s victim welcome new laws

THE family of a Sunshine Coast man who died after contracting Legionnaire's disease while in a Brisbane hospital have welcomed new water risk management laws.

John Pearson, 66, of Alexandra Headland died on June 2, 2013, after becoming infected with the disease while undergoing cancer treatment at Wesley Hospital.

A positive test for the Legionella bacteria in the water at the hospital was returned three days after his death.

New legislation has been passed in Queensland requiring hospitals, private health facilities and public residential aged care facilities to have strict water risk management plans.

The laws require the results of Legionella testing to be periodically submitted to Queensland Health and mean person in charge of a facility must also provide within one business day of a confirmed positive test.

In a statement through her lawyers, Maurice Blackburn, Mr Pearson's daughter, Rachel, described the new legislation as "a long time coming but something that had to happen."

"At the time of losing Dad three years ago, we were astounded at how far behind other states Queensland was in its standards for monitoring in hospitals and other facilities," she said.

"Dad was left prone to an infection he should never have been exposed to and it cost him his life.

"I hope this new legislation means there are no future cases of Legionella pneumohila from water systems."

She acknowledged the new legislation did not necessarily means hospitals would be safer but said they would have to be more accountable and vigilant.


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