More Patients Join Toxic Mold Lawsuit Against Seattle Children’s Hospital
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
15 patients have joined a class action lawsuit filed in December 2019 over the presence of Aspergillus mold in their air-handling system; this mold allegedly led to worsened conditions and even death for approximately 20 minor patients.
Aspergillus mold is considered particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems.
While aspergillus mold is not typically considered a dire threat, for someone with an existing condition like asthma or mold allergies, or for people with weakened immune systems like patients and especially young children receiving medical treatment, the consequences can be severe and even fatal. Invasive aspergillosis may occur in patients receiving chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, or another immune disease.
The infection typically travels from the lungs to the brain and elsewhere in the body, and can be fatal. Signs of aspergillus exposure may include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, chest pain, and even skin lesions.
The lawsuit alleges that Seattle Children’s Hospital knowingly concealed the aspergillus problem in their air-handling system.
This problem allegedly put patients at particular risk of exposure during surgery, where the mold was able to enter through the air system and attach itself to whatever organ was exposed, including the brain, heart, lungs, etc. The lawsuit further alleges that the hospital was aware of this problem as early as the year 2000, and yet actively concealed the problem to protect itself from liability. Since then, at least seven patients have died from contracting an aspergillus infection, and many more have suffered health complications.
Hospitals, housing providers, and even property managers are all required to adhere to certain standards of care for their patients and residents.
Mold is a common topic in liability claims against one primary party responsible for the care of many others. While housing environments are a common setting for mold lawsuits to arise, hospitals have a particular responsibility to protect their already immune-compromised patients from anything that could cause an infection or worsened injury. The fact that this mold was officially detected as far back as the early 2000s and yet the mold problem remained and continued to cause the injury and even death of child patients certainly seems to expose the hospital to significant liability. The doctors and staff working in the hospital have claimed they were unaware of the mold problem, shifting the responsibility back onto the hospital as an administration responsible for ensuring reasonably safe conditions.
Plaintiffs are seeking a variety of damages for their mold injuries.
It’s important to note that the families involved in this lawsuit were required to pursue additional medical care on top of the already costly procedures the children first came to the hospital for. Medical bills, wages lost during the time parents had to take off work, and pain and suffering are just a few of the damages the families in this lawsuit will likely present evidence for in court.
Additionally, for the families whose children died as a result of the mold exposure, they may pursue additional damages including funeral costs and wrongful death compensation. A breach of duty of care is serious under any circumstance but can be particularly catastrophic when performed by a medical facility on which patients rely for vital treatments.