Contaminated Medical Scopes Cause Multiple Deaths

A man described as an affectionate and funny husband, father and grandfather passed away in August 2013 after contracting a deadly super bug linked to contaminated medical scopes. Now his wife and the hospital where the man received treatment are suing the the company responsible for creating these scopes.

Fifty-seven-year-old Richard Bigler had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was undergoing treatment when the scope was used at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center. He contracted the deadly infection and declined “so rapidly” that neither his wife nor their four children had a chance to say goodbye.

At Least Thirty-Five Patients Affected

Bigler was only one of at least 35 American patients to have died since 2013 after developing infections caused by Olympus duodenoscopes. At that one hospital alone, 39 people were infected by the contaminated scopes and 18 patients died.

Initially Olympus Corp. said that the hospital was at fault as the reusable scopes were not cleaned properly. But an investigation carried out by county, state and federal officials found that Virginia Mason properly followed all cleaning procedures.

Common Questions about Wrongful Death in California

What is considered to be a “wrongful death”?

A “wrongful death” is one which is the result of a person or entity’s negligence or wrongful actions.

Can anyone file a wrongful death claim?

In California, only certain individuals will be able to file a wrongful death claim.

  • The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the victim
  • The children of the victim
  • Anyone who would be entitled to the property (i.e. parents or siblings)

Can financially dependent individuals file a wrongful death claim?

The following individuals can file a wrongful death claim in California if they can prove that they were financially dependent on the victim:

  • The putative spouse and their children
  • The parents of the victim
  • The step-children of the victim

Do You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, you have up to two years to file a wrongful death claim. If you have lost a loved one because of a suspected wrongful death in the Los Angeles area, the Sherman Oaks Personal injury attorneys at Fox & Fox Law Corporation can help.

We offer free initial consultations to anyone who wants to discuss their claim and learn if they have a case. We invite you to email us or give us a call today at (818) 986-4494.