California man sues over Legionnaire’s case blamed on Rio stay

A 50-year-old Long Beach, California, resident is suing Caesars Entertainment Corp. after allegedly contracting Legionnaires’ disease while staying at the Rio hotel in Las Vegas last spring.

Christopher Moncado was hospitalized six months ago and sent Caesars, which owns the Rio, his medical records and hospital bills, but has not received any response concerning settlement of the bills, according to his attorney, Peter Wetherall.

According to a news release, the Southern Nevada Health District, which has been investigating the outbreak since June, confirmed Moncado’s case was linked to the Rio outbreak in June.

Since his hospital admission, Moncado has disturbed sleep, weakness, shortness of breath and reduced energy, it said.

“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,” the release said.

He also visits a doctor regularly for breathing treatment and uses an inhaler and is receiving disability benefits as a result of his diagnosis.

A Caesars spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The Rio conducted a secondary cleaning and testing of its water system last month, a precautionary measure that health experts expect will continue for up to a year.

The investigation was launched after two people who stayed separately at the Rio in March and April tested positive for the disease. The investigation is still ongoing as the health district continues to receive intermittent reports of infection from hotel guests.

As of October, there have been seven confirmed and 28 suspected cases of Legionnaires’ disease, a pneumonia-like condition spread through water systems contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. The October report by the health district said there were 56 suspected cases of influenzalike Pontiac fever, a milder illness caused by the same bacteria.

Although most people who are exposed to the bacteria don’t get sick, Legionnaire’s disease can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

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