Infectious Disease Expert Witness & Medical Scope Litigation

Plaintiff Theresa Bigler has filed the first lawsuit to be tried in the US against Olympus Corp. over medical scopes. Her case alleges that a medical device transmitted a superbug which led to the death of her husband in 2013. While the Seattle case is the first in the US, it follows similar reports of Olympus scope related infections in France and the Netherlands. The reusable endoscope may have a flaw which inhibits its cleaning. Olympus is headquartered in Japan and holds a 70% share of the world market in gastrointestinal endoscopes.

Medscape.com reports that at least 35 patients in US hospitals have died since 2013 after developing drug resistant infections linked to Olympus duodenoscopes — flexible, lighted tubes used to peer deep inside the body. More than 25 patients and families, from California to Pennsylvania, have sued Olympus alleging wrongful death, negligence or fraud.

In July 2016 Kaiser Health News reported that Olympus internal emails show “faced with superbug outbreaks in three countries by early 2013, Japanese device giant Olympus Corp. told (their) U.S. executives not to issue a broad warning to American hospitals about potentially deadly infections from tainted medical scopes.”

Should [we] also be communicating to our users the information that [Olympus Europe] is communicating to their European users?” Laura Storms, vice president of regulatory and clinical affairs in Center Valley, Pa., asked in an email to Tokyo headquarters on Jan. 31, 2013.

No, that’s not necessary, said Susumu Nishina, the company’s chief manager for market quality administration in Tokyo in a Feb. 6, 2013, reply.

The infection control expert witness told the court that there was “completely inadequate premarket validation testing.” William Rutala, MS, MPH, PhD, is director of the North Carolina Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology.

The infectious disease expert witness is called upon to evaluate and testify in cases alleging medical negligence in a complex  and highly subspecialized field. A delayed or missed diagnosis of a life threatening infection may result in litigation against physicians and/or treatment centers. Securing the most experienced expert suited to your infectious disease case is crucial. Contact ELITE Medical Experts to find an expert specifically chosen for your case.

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