New Lawsuits Filed Against Olympus Over ‘Superbug’ Infected Scopes
In response to the 'superbug' outbreak at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, multiple patients and their families have filed lawsuits against Olympus, the maker of the endoscope that allegedly caused the infection.
Descriptions of the Lawsuits Filed
According to Mass Device, 76-year-old Domingo Gomez became infected by one of the contaminated devices during an endoscopy at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Gomez filed suit against Olympus on Monday. Gomez claimed that he suffered significant harm from the infection. His lawyer, Peter Kaufman, refused to comment on the man's condition or say why he initially went to that particular hospital. A copy of his complaint wasn't immediately available.
The family of Silvia Patricia Aroche sued Olympus on Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Aroche was exposed to the deadly CRE bacteria from a tainted duodenoscope during multiple procedures back in December. According to the suit, she suffered from severe internal injuries and died as a result.
In addition to wrongful death, the lawsuit accuses Olympus of negligence and fraud in selling and promoting defective products at the expense of the health and safety of the general public. After the UCLA outbreak, the FDA warned hospitals that the scopes are almost impossible to clean even when following the manufacturers' instructions for reuse.
A third patient, 72-year-old Leo Palomino, also sued Olympus on Friday for negligence and fraud. Palomino was exposed to a germ-infested Olympus Q180V scope when he underwent multiple ERCP procedures at UCLA from October to December 2014. The Inglewood resident was discharged from the hospital in January.
Number of Patients and Hospitals Affected May Be Higher
A spokesman for Olympus stated that the company doesn't publicly discuss active legal matters. In response to recent events, Olympus said that they are currently working with relevant medical societies and customers to further research the issue and develop additional safeguards to prevent future outbreaks. Also, the number of patients struck by the illness at UCLA and other hospitals hit by outbreaks may be higher than originally reported.
The three lawsuits surfacing in the past week add to two previous ones filed on behalf of a Central Valley woman who passed away at UCLA and an 18-year-old student who remains hospitalized there. UCLA and the University of California regents may be added as possible defendants in these cases as more details emerge.