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Legionnaires Death Linked to Las Vegas Luxor

A former guest at the Las Vegas Luxor hotel-casino died from Legionnaires' disease, and the resort's water system may have been the source of the infection, Nevada health officials reported Monday.

The unidentified guest stayed at the Luxor in December and fell ill shortly thereafter, the Las Vegas Sun reports. Tests found Legionella bacteria in the Luxor's water system, which was immediately treated to kill the bacteria.

The Luxor Legionnaires' death may lead to a lawsuit by the victim's relatives against the hotel's owner, MGM Resorts. The company already faces another Legionnaires' lawsuit from a separate Las Vegas outbreak last summer.

In the summer outbreak, guests contracted Legionnaires' disease -- and later recovered -- after staying at the Aria Resort & Casino. Eight guests sued MGM Resorts, Aria's part-owner, seeking more than $330 million for medical bills, pain and suffering, and a "loss of life's pleasures."

The Aria Legionnaires' lawsuit, which is pending in federal court, alleges properly functioning filtration systems would have kept the bacteria out of the resort's water system. An MGM spokesman denied the Aria lawsuit's negligence claim.

Chances are, a similar lawsuit may be filed against MGM in connection with the Luxor Legionnaires' death. If that happens, the fact that the resort treated its water system after the guest's sickness likely can't be used as evidence in court. Federal Rules of Evidence prohibit "subsequent remedial measures" to be used to prove a party's negligence.

But a potential lawsuit may bring up the fact that there were two other Legionnaires' infections linked to the Luxor last year. The guests were infected in Spring 2011 and later recovered, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. Tests found no bacterial contamination in the Luxor's water system at that time, the Associated Press reports.

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