Contaminated Medical Device Allegedly Causes Fatal Infection

Carla Warner, widow of Willie Warner, has sued the makers of a diagnostic instrument and the machine designed to clean it after her husband contracted a fatal infection. Olympus America Inc. and Custom Ultrasonics Inc. have been sued over the safety and reliability of their medical scopes and machines. The suit filed in federal court in Pennsylvania alleges fraud, negligence, and breach of warranty and asks for compensatory and punitive damages.

Approximately two years ago, Mr. Warner contracted a “superbug” infection after having a diagnostic procedure at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The procedure involved having a device, manufactured by Olympus, known as a duodenoscope inserted into his throat. The device checks the stomach and other organs and drains internal fluids if necessary. Another machine, manufactured by Custom Ultrasonics, was supposed to decontaminate the duodenoscope. The suit alleges that Olympus’ duodenoscope had a design flaw and allowed biological material to be retained by the device.

The Federal Drug Administration has already criticized Custom Ultrasonics’ cleaning machine, claiming it “had not demonstrated that (it) can adequately wash and disinfect…to mitigate the risk of patient infections.” The FDA has issued a nationwide recall of almost 3,000 of the machines from more than 1,000 hospitals across the nation. After 179 patients at UCLA medical center were exposed to a potentially drug-resistant bacteria, a similar warning was issued by the FDA regarding Olympus’ duodenoscope.

When someone is injured or dies as a result of a product defect, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the injured party’s right to recover.

Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue a claim for injuries that occurred as a result of a product defect.