Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Five Dead After Fatal Mold Outbreak in Pittsburgh Hospital

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Feb 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

In order to ensure the safety of hospitalized patients in hospitals, a number of federal standards have been implemented to encourage the continual upkeep of these medical facilities. Of these requirements, the disinfection and sterilization of medical equipment, furniture and any other substance or item that comes in contact with patients is undoubtedly high on the list of obligations. If these standards are not upheld, the health of visiting patients is put in jeopardy, causing them to develop complications that either causes them to readmit themselves or to stay in these hospitals longer than intended. In worse case scenarios, there have been documented accounts of people dying from these oversights.

Talk of the responsibility of hospitals to maintain cleanliness comes in the wake of the recent deaths of five patients who contracted fungal infections at two Pittsburgh hospitals. Health inspectors claim that the presence of mold played a pivotal role in the deaths of these patients.

A lawsuit filed with the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas revealed the grotesque details of the outbreak. Apparently, a large quantity of mold was discovered in the linens of two populous University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals. Investigators confirm that many of the deaths that had transpired in the hospital were in some way linked to infections caused by mold. In fact, investigators trace these mold infection-related casualties all the way back to the beginning of 2014.

Che Duvall, a 70-year-old patient at one of the hospitals, had just undergone a lung transplant when he developed a mold-related fungal infection. He shortly died from complications. When DuVall's wife caught wind of the news of the mold outbreak, she decided to file a lawsuit.

Daniel Krieg, another victim of a fungal infection, had just undergone a kidney transplant when he passed away from complications. His family also decided to file a lawsuit on his behalf. Both hospitalized patients had acquired pneumonia infections that required the removal of their lungs, making them more susceptible to fungal infections.

The families of two other patients who succumbed to the outbreak received a settlement of $1.35 million before a trial was initiated. The fifth patients, who is currently unnamed, passed away in the transplant unit on one of the medical center campuses.

Not only was mold found on the hospital linens, traces of it was spotted in nearly every area tested of the Paris Healthcare Linen facility - a local Pennsylvania company responsible for handling these facilities' linens. Despite the tragic deaths of these patients, the company has continued to contract its linens from this facility.

If you or a loved one has developed a condition or fallen more ill in a medical facility, you may be entitled to compensation. Let the skilled attorneys at the law offices of Gilman & Bedigian review your case. Call their office at (800) 529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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