The lawsuit states that a Texan woman died from the Legionnaires' disease contracted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

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CHICAGO (WLS) – A family is suing Northwestern Memorial Hospital for the death of a Texas woman who, according to them, contracted the Legionnaires' disease from another patient at the Chicago medical center.

The woman's family is accusing the hospital of negligence and unjust death.

They claimed he had contracted legionaries from another person hosted on the same floor as the hospital, calling it preventable.

"We had many plans, we had hobbies," said Gibran Ruiz in tears.

Ruiz is still in mourning, telling the life he and his wife Carol wanted before he died.

"I still wake up incredulously for a few days that this happened," he said.

According to the Ruiz family lawyer, 35-year-old Carol Ruiz was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital on October 25, 2017, for a clinical trial to help patients with multiple sclerosis.

His immune system was suppressed as part of the treatment.

Less than a month later, she died after contracting the Legionnaires' disease.

"While Carol was a Northwestern patient, she was exposed to contaminated water," said lawyer Thomas R. Mulroy III of Salvi, Schostok and Prichard.

Even the victim's daughter, Melane Cosme, is involved in the lawsuit.

"I'm a college senior and I wish he could see me graduate," Cosme said.

Attorney Thomas Mulroy said that the northwestern hospital housed Ruiz – with a compromised immune system – on an inadequate level.

Five months ago, another person had contracted legionnaires. The Illinois Department of Public Health linked both cases to the end of 2017.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital declined to comment due to ongoing disputes.

According to an e-mail from the Chicago Department of Public Health provided by Mulroy, legionella bacteria were found in the sink of Ruiz's room at Northwestern Hospital. In the e-mail, an officer claims that water temperatures and copper ion levels were too low. Water temperatures and ionic levels can help prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria.

Gibran Ruiz said he wants answers.

"We would like to know why, we would like to know more about what really happened and not about silence, because that says nothing," Ruiz said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a steady increase in cases of Legionnaires' disease reported in the state in the last 10 years:

2018 = 509

2017 = 332

2016 = 318

2015 = 315

2014 = 249

2013 = 299

2012 = 226

2011 = 151

2010 = 149

2009 = 134

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