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Bacterial Infections Prompt Two Heater-Cooler Lawsuits

A pair of lawsuits have been filed against York Hospital in Pennsylvania and the manufacturer of a heater-cooler device linked to an outbreak of bacterial infections throughout the state, with one alleging that the company’s negligence caused a patient’s death.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you suffered an infection or other injury after undergoing surgery in which a heater-cooler device was used, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

June 29, 2016 – The suits were filed last week in the York County Court of Common Pleas, coming about 8 months after York Hospital announced that it was notifying about 1,300 patients who underwent open heart surgery at the facility between October 1, 2011 and July 24, 2015, that they could have been exposed to Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections.

The first complaint was filed on behalf of Vincent Karst, who underwent open heart surgery at York Hospital on March 9, 2015. The operation seemed to be a success and Karst continued to improve after the surgery. However, that all changed in August 2015 when he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection, according to the lawsuit.

Karst and his wife Rebecca are suing to recover compensation for his injuries. The complaint states that as a “direct and proximate result” of defendants’ behavior, Vincent has experienced severe medical complications including chronic illness, pain and suffering, and a loss of earnings.

The second lawsuit was entered on behalf of David Inners, a Hanover business owner who had open heart surgery at York Hospital on December 14, 2014. Nearly a year later, on October 22, 2015, he was called into the office of the president of the hospital and told that he had a bacterial infection, according to the complaint. Sadly, Inners died just over 2 weeks later on November 7; he was 62-years-old.

According to the lawsuit, LivaNova designed a heater-cooler that “prevented it from being reliably and consistently cleaned, disinfected, and maintained”, and that the device is neither safe nor effective. Meanwhile, WellSpan Health was “negligent and reckless” in its care of the heater-cooler, according to the complaint.

WellSpan Health spokesman Dan Carrigan said he can’t discuss pending litigation; however, maintained that the organization acted promptly once the problem was identified and has provided comprehensive resources in the aftermath.

“Our focus continues to be that insuring our patients get all the information, care and treatment they need related to this issue,” Carrigan said. “The safety, health and well-being of our patients is our highest priority.”

LivaNova, manufacturer of the Sorin 3T Heater-Cooler System, said in a statement that it also cannot discuss pending lawsuits, and only that it takes the matter “very seriously.”

The potential infection risk was “only recently recognized by the medical community and knowledge about it continues to evolve,” the company said.

Do I Have a Heater-Cooler Lawsuit?

The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in heater-cooler lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured or suffered an infection from a heater-cooler device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

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