SEATTLE — The superbug outbreak in UCLA’s Medical Center was not the first of its kind to make headlines.

Washington state woman is suing the Seattle hospital and the medical device manufacturer responsible for her husband’s death after a similar outbreak in in a Seattle hospital in 2013.

Theresa Bigler has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in response to the passing of her husband in 2013. While Mr. Bigler was also suffering from pancreatic cancer, this spouse believes his expedited demise was caused by his exposure to and subsequent infection after a superbug outbreak at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital.

Superbug Outbreak

The outbreak occurred between 2012 and 2014 and resulted in over 30 people being infected by the drug-resistant bacteria carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae.

Eleven people died after being infected. It is believed the bacteria spread to dozens of patients through contaminated devices known as duodenoscopes. It is impossible to know at this point exactly how many people were infected by the superbug and the hospital only completed its investigatory analysis in January 2015.

The 11 individuals who died were critically ill when they were infected and, as such, their bodies were most likely unable to stave off any other condition. Mr. Bigler was one of these patients, as he was battling pancreatic cancer at the time.

The danger of these types of outbreaks, especially in hospitals, is that it is those individuals (especially the young and elderly) with already compromised or weakened immune systems who are most likely to die from exposure to a superbug.

The endoscopes in questions are manufactured mostly by Olympus America. It is alleged that the defective design of the product is responsible for the outbreak.

It is argued that even when staff followed the federal and manufacturer provided protocols for properly cleaning and sterilizing the scopes, they may still not be sufficiently clean for use. Mrs. Bigler is alleging that Olympus America knew its instructions were ineffective and that, as a result, the contaminated devices had caused infection and death.

The Defective Device No-Fee Promise

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective device, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Our award winning attorneys specialize in filing lawsuits for people who have been wronged by serious side-effects of prescription medications and defective medical devices. We operate under our No-Fee Promise, which means you will not pay a dime until your case has been accepted and you receive your settlement. We will put it in writing for you.

To get started on your case, simply call our offices any time of the day at (866) 280-4722 or fill out the Free Case Review Form on the side of this page. We will listen to your story, explain what rights you have, and determine if you have a potential lawsuit against the device manufacturer. Remember, there are strict time deadlines to filing defective drug and device claims and if you do not act quickly your claim will be lost forever.