Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Medical Scope Superbugs

Endoscope Manufacturer Olympus Drastically Increased Price of Medical Scopes During Superbug Outbreak

During the deadly “Superbug” CRE infection outbreak from contaminated medical scopes, three UCLA patients died and five more fell ill to the lethal bacterial spread. When doctors at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center inquired about replacing the tainted medical scopes, medical device maker Olympus Corp. offered to sell the hospital 35 new scopes for $1.2 million — a 28% increase in price for the defective products, compared to the pricing just months earlier.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “emails show how Olympus continued to push sales even as the devices it previously sold to UCLA and other medical institutions were linked to illnesses and deaths. The messages also mark a sharp departure from what had been a close, mutually beneficial relationship between the giant device manufacturer and one of the country’s most prestigious academic medical centers.”

The superbug outbreak had not been confirmed until January 28, 2015, and a month later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the device to hospitals across the nation. Many medical facilities adopted new cleaning procedures for their medical scopes, but were forced to purchase more due to their short supply.

“What Olympus did was outrageous,” stated California State Representative Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). “They jacked up the prices and made even more money off their defective scopes and then bragged about it. Have they no shame?”

Contact an Endoscope Infection Personal Injury Attorney

Lieff Cabraser has successfully represented thousands of patients across America injured by defective and dangerous medical devices. We currently represent patients who developed “Superbug” CRE infections after undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), as well as the families of patients who died as a result of such infections.

If you or a family member developed CRE following an endoscopic procedure, please contact an experienced injury lawyer at Lieff Cabraser to discuss your case. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 and ask to speak to injury attorney Lexi Hazam or Wendy Fleishman. There is no charge or obligation for our review, and your information will be held in the strictest confidence.