Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Medical Scope Superbugs

Pasadena Hospital’s Failure to Report Superbug Outbreak Breaks California Law

As reported by Melody Petersen in the Los Angeles Times, according to a letter posted by local city officials, Huntington Hospital in Pasadena broke California law by not quickly reporting a suspected deadly superbug infection outbreak in 2015.

The letter was released by the hospital this week, along with the results of a city investigation into the outbreak — caused by insufficiently cleaned duodenoscopes — that caused 16 patients to develop serious infections. Eleven of the patients died, though only one patient’s death certificate indicated that a superbug bacterial infection was the cause of death. Instead, the listed causes showed things like heart failure and cancer. Attorneys for the families of three of the patients have issued statements claiming that the deaths were instead “almost certainly” caused by the untreatable superbug infections derived from the dirty medical scopes.

In the wake of the letter’s release, the hospital issued a statement acknowledging responsibility “for the deficiencies outlined in the report” and noting that they are taking steps to ensure strict compliance with all scope cleaning protocols going forward.

California law requires all hospitals to report occurrences of unusual diseases or disease outbreaks to health officials within 24 hours of discovery. Pasadena’s investigation into the outbreak laid blame on the duodenoscopes’ design, which makes them extremely difficult to clean. They also cited lapses in the hospital’s infection control.

You can read the full story on the Los Angeles Times website.

Contact a Lieff Cabraser 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.