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Veterans Affairs settles another Pittsburgh-area Legionnaire's lawsuit

| Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, 2:03 p.m.

A retired Army veteran and his wife have settled their Legionnaires' disease case against the Department of Veterans Affairs, one of the couple's lawyers said Wednesday.

“We were able to reach a good resolution with the United States,” Douglas Price said.

Gerald N. Caskey, 72, of Pine and his wife, Debra, stopped at the VA hospital in Oakland on Oct. 11, 2011, to get his prescriptions.

During the wait, Caskey washed his hands in a restroom and drank from a water fountain, Price said. Eight days later, he was in an emergency room and was subsequently diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

The lawsuit was at the deposition stage when the parties decided to see if they could reach an agreement, Price said. He declined to comment further.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed the case was settled but offered no further comment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease occurred in facilities in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System from February 2011 to November 2012. The CDC traced the problem to bacteria-contaminated water.

More than a dozen people have filed claims against the government. The outbreak sickened at least 22 patients at VA campuses in Oakland and O'Hara. Six of the patients died. The VA has settled at least 11 of the complaints.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301.

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