In early May of this year we covered an outbreak of a fungal infection at the Children’s Hospital in Louisiana. Initially the focus of the story was on hospital reporting requirements, given that the hospital in question had apparently delayed for up to five years notifying parents of five children who allegedly died from the outbreak of the actual cause of the deaths.
Since then, parents of the deceased children have initiated multiple lawsuits against the hospital, mostly based on claims of negligence as the Louisiana statute of limitations may preclude lawsuits based on medical malpractice. Some of those negligence lawsuits have already settled out of court, as we addressed in a follow-up blog entry.
In a new twist, however, a more recent lawsuit has arisen in which the child appears to have survived the fungal infection. And instead of grieving parents filing the lawsuit, it is the survivor himself who is the plaintiff.
The fungal infection was lethal to the other five children possibly because they were so young that their immune systems were not strong enough to fight it. This plaintiff, however, was older at the time he went to the hospital because of a sports injury.
The underlying accusation of this recent suit against the hospital is similar: that the plaintiff contracted an infection while he was a patient there and the hospital concealed from him the true nature of that infection. The plaintiff claims that as a result he has suffered a lingering injury even after having undergone multiple medical procedures, which evidently included a graft operation.
In addition to the hospital, his lawsuit names other defendants that were connected with the hospital’s housekeeping services and linen supply. The university that supplied the graft is also a defendant, as the complaint contends that the graft was defective.
The litigation against Children’s Hospital, which originated in facts that date back several years and which involve multiple cases and multiple defendants, shows how important it is to have effective legal counsel at your side in the event that you ever need to file a lawsuit based on medical malpractice, hospital negligence, or any other failure of a doctor or other healthcare provider to perform up to reasonable professional standards.