Yes, you can sue a hospital for injury or wrongful death caused by an infection with a flesh-eating fungus if the infection can be linked to the hospital. You will have a better case if you are part of an outbreak of illnesses connected to the hospital.
You can click here now to talk to a lawyer about your case. All of our attorneys have experience with infectious disease lawsuits.
Children’s Hospital Outbreak
In 2008 and 2009 a deadly fungus infection, mucormycosis, killed 5 children, all patients at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, prior to getting sick. The outbreak was kept under wraps until a study was published in the May edition of Pediatrics Infectious Disease Journal.
Children’s Hospital was referred to as Hospital A in the article, but a local doctor tipped off reporters that Hospital A was Children’s. The 5-year lag in making the outbreak public has outraged many.
“This outbreak should have been made public as soon as it was suspected. Other children could have been infected, and parents should have been watching for symptoms,” said Fred Pritzker, an attorney who has helped many parents get justice after the wrongful death of a child. Fred’s practice focuses on infectious disease litigation. You can click here now to contact Fred and his team.
The CDC was called in to investigate the outbreak. An analysis of the evidence pointed to bed linens used at the hospital as the source of the infection. The outbreak fungus was found on the linens. Towels and gowns were also possible sources.
The five children who died in the outbreak ranged from 35 days to 13 years old. Lawsuits have been filed against Children’s Hospital and TLC Services, Inc., the linen services company.
How the hospital, health departments and CDC handled this outbreak raises several questions:
- Exactly what was initially contaminated with this fungus and how was it spread?
- Why did it take more than 10 months after the first death for the hospital to connect the cases of mucormycosis in children who were patients at the hospital?
- Why didn’t the hospital inform parents of other patients of the outbreak?
- Why didn’t health officials or the CDC recommend that the hospital do that or otherwise make the outbreak public?
Fungal infections have been on the rise in the last few years. In 2011 through 2013 over 700 people in 20 states developed meningitis and other dangerous infections from a medication tainted with fungus.