Those who provide healthcare have a vital role in society. Occasionally, it can happen that those with this responsibility fail to fulfill it. Connecticut residents may have heard of the recent Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in a VA hospital in a nearby state. What they may not know is that while the outbreak was originally attributed to a malfunction of equipment, those in charge may have known that it actually stemmed from human error. Now, the hospital may be facing claims of wrongful death due to their alleged negligence.
According to a recent article, an investigation has led to claims that the hospital officials knew about the outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease but did not notify patients or their families for well over a year. Authorities say that, even when the disease was discovered, nothing was done to attempt to remedy the situation. It was stated that the outbreak was due to a faulty water system, a finding that was backed up by testing done by the company that installed anti-Legionella equipment. That company’s investigation also stated that the VA hospital was not taking proper care of the water system.
Several residents ended up losing their lives to Legionnaires’ disease, and many more fell ill. Internal communication in the hospital may reveal that, even when this suspicion arose, that management failed to implement any safeguards or solutions to their problem. They are also accused of going so far as to suggest the problem was outside of the hospital, telling the daughter of one resident to have her own water tested after her father died of Legionnaires’ disease.
The families of the patients who died and became sick have likely gone through terrible emotional trauma. It is possible that they may decide to file a wrongful death claim against the VA hospital and others based upon evidence of negligence and/or medical errors. A successful civil claim could result in monetary relief for the victims’ families as compensation for damages sustained. Residents here in Connecticut may want to pay close attention to this case, as something like this could happen to anyone.
Source: wtsp.com, VA hospital knew human error caused Legionnaires’ outbreak, No author, March 14, 2014