(DNAINFO) Murray Weiss — A music teacher who worked with special needs children in a South Bronx public school near the center of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak died from the illness in April, DNAinfo New York has learned.
James Rouse’s family claims the city failed to investigate the 52-year-old’s death, which could possibly have prevented the outbreak that has killed ten more people and sickened nearly 100 over the past month.
“My brother was the canary in the coal mine and the city ignored his death,” said John Rouse, a Suffolk County civil court judge and former prosecutor.
James Rouse taught at The Urban Science Academy, P.S. 325, on Teller Avenue. A nationally known pianist and marathoner, Rouse died April 30 at Beth Israel Hospital, roughly a week after being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease.
“Had the city looked at his case when it was happening to him, and tried to speak with him while he was alive, or even conducted a proper investigation afterwards, they might have been able to prevent those seven people from dying,” John Rouse told “On The Inside” before the other deaths were reported by the city.”