TYLER — The family of a Tyler man who died from complications of Legionnaire’s disease last November has retained an attorney. According to our news partner KETK, the widow of Ruben Gutierrez, Susan Gutierrez, has retained the services of Elliot Olsen of Minneapolis. Olsen will represent her family. Gutierrez, 69, was a precinct chair for the Smith County Democratic Party, died November 8 after having been hospitalized much of October.
He was one of eight individuals who contracted the illness after visiting the East Texas State Fair in Tyler from September 20-29. The outbreak has been linked to a hot tub display at the fair. The Northeast Texas Health District said the only thing all victims had in common was their attendance at the annual fair. The illness is a result of inhaling the mist or vapor of bacteria-infected water. Gutierrez had been at the fair every day, manning the Smith County Democratic Party’s booth and registering voters. “There’s no easy way to put it – Mr. Gutierrez’s final days were horrific,” Olsen said in a statement. “No one should have to go through what he and his family endured last October.” Olsen, an attorney with the Siegel Brill law firm in Minneapolis, is one of the few attorneys in the country who can call Legionnaires’ disease an area of expertise. He also currently represents victims of outbreaks in New York City, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.