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Employee Dies At Cendant Mortgage's Annual Sales Meeting

Cause of death was aggressive bacterial infection

February 11, 2002 (updated 12:27 PM)

By MortgageDaily.com staff

A Cendant Mortgage employee attending the company's national sales meeting in Cherry Hill, NJ died early Sunday, according an announcement from Kennedy Health System. Seven other employees have been admitted to the hospital after exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory illness. All are reported to be in stable condition.

Joanne Hemstreet, 45, of Kingston, Mass., had begun complaining of flu-like symptoms Wednesday afternoon while on her way to the Hilton Hotel, where the meeting was being held. She was taken to the hospital on Saturday night, after periodically complaining of feeling ill during the sales meeting. While the hospital said Ms. Hemstreet received comprehensive medical care for her condition, she died at 3:14 am as a result of Fulminent Bacterial Pneumonia, an aggressive bacterial infection.

Cendant employees that had close contact with Ms. Hemstreet while at the hotel were given antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

Dr. David Condoluci, chief of infectious diseases at Kennedy Memorial Hospitals, said "because there was a chance that it could have been a form of meningococcemia, we offered preventive antibiotics to those who had close contact with Ms. Hemstreet as a precautionary measure."

Dow Jones Newswires reported that 77 other attendees went to the emergency room on Sunday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hemstreet family, who have suffered a terrible loss," said Terry Edwards, President & CEO of Cendant Mortgage. "We will do everything to help them through this difficult time."

Cendant Mortgage is part of Cendant's real estate services segment, which includes CENTURY 21, Coldwell Banker and Coldwell Banker Commercial. Last week, Cendant Corporation announced that mortgage production for the unit was $10 billion during the 4th quarter, 71 percent higher than the 4th quarter of 2000.
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