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Lawsuits over Children’s Hospital Fungal Outbreak Bring up Larger Issue

Written by Berkowitz

Three lawsuits have been filed against Children’s Hospital on behalf of families who lost children to a hospital borne infection years ago. The lawsuits involve an 11-month outbreak of mucormycosis, a deadly infection caused by fungus in 2008 and 2009, which spread through Children’s Hospital in the linens.

The Hospital’s Response

According to reports, the hospital admitted to a failure to alert the families about the outbreak. Two of the families, reportedly, discovered the cause of their children’s deaths by sheer chance and were never informed of the infection by the hospital.

Three of the families have now filed a lawsuit against Children’s Hospital, claiming negligence on the part of hospital administration for exposing children with already weakened immune systems to the fatal infection.

Children’s Hospital publicly announced last month that five deaths have been linked to the outbreak. The lawsuit focuses on liability and seeks to determine who is responsible for the outbreak.

The Larger Issues at Play

The recent discovery brings up a larger issue of malpractice and of hospitals’ responsibility to alert patients and families about hospital borne infection.

The three families that have brought suit against Children’s Hospital are all claiming general negligence in an effort to dodge a $500,000 medical malpractice cap.