The widow of a man who allegedly died from an infection related to the use of a Stockert 3T heater-cooler device has filed a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer in the Southern District of Iowa.
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?
January 19, 2017 – According to the lawsuit, Ronald Prescott had a heart valve replacement surgery on Oct. 2, 2012. He went back to the doctor in Feb. 2014 complaining of fatigue, night sweats, muscle pain, dry cough and persistent fever.
Doctors found that Prescott had an enlarged spleen, elevated liver enzymes, and other symptoms of a multi-organ inflammatory disease. It wasn’t until 7 months later, however, that they identified the cause of these conditions: an M. chimaera infection.
M. chimaera is a type of nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) classified as a slow grower. M. chimaera may cause serious illness or death. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) believes M. chimaera infections associated with the 3T heater-cooler are rare; however, they are hard to diagnose because infected patients may not develop symptoms of infection for months or even years after initial exposure.
Doctors treated Prescott with a regimen of powerful antibiotics which caused him serious side effects including drug-related toxicity, nerve damage and hearing loss. Yet despite the treatments, the infection persisted. M. chimaera bacteria were still found in his blood as late as December 2015.
On Jan. 29, 2016, Prescott received a call from the Director of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where his surgery was performed. The director informed him of the link between NTM infections and the Stӧckert 3T heater-cooler device.
Prescott’s doctor connected his infection to the open-heart surgery he underwent, during which one of the devices was used. The doctor recommended that he go through another operation to remove the infected heart valve, but Prescott was deemed too medically unstable to go through another surgery. Additionally, it couldn’t not be guaranteed that removing the valve would get rid of the infection.
Prescott continued to suffer, losing 75 pounds and experiencing chronic pain and fatigue, chronic kidney disease (CKD), pancreatitis and other serious health issues. He received medical treatment for 2 years, but doctors were not able to get eliminate the infection. He died on May 14, 2016, at the age of 59. The cause of death was listed as an NTM infection.
The case was filed on August 22, 2016, in the Southern District of Iowa. Prescott’s wife is seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages.
Do I Have a Heater-Cooler Lawsuit?
The Product Liability 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 infection cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you developed an infection or other injury after undergoing surgery with 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.