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Class-action suit claims hospital negligence in tuberculosis case

Illinois residents typically expect hospitals to be places for treating illnesses, not places for contracting them. However, if a patient with a potentially deadly infectious illness is not property diagnosed, how many people are put at risk? That is the issue that prompted a recent class-action lawsuit against an out-of-state hospital. The plaintiffs argue that hospital negligence caused other patients, staff members, volunteers and visitors to be exposed to tuberculosis.

The patient in question was hospitalized this past summer and mostly stayed within the confines of the neonatal intensive care unit. However, she allegedly was permitted to wander around the hospital without a surgical mask. The plaintiffs' attorney claims that the woman's respiratory therapist likely spread the disease throughout the hospital. Tuberculosis ultimately claimed the woman's life and the lives of her twin daughters who had just been born.

According to reports, at least 15 hospital workers who are plaintiffs in the suit learned they had dormant tuberculosis. At least two of them later developed the illness. Their attorney stated that they have yet to decide how much compensation they will ask for.

When doctors fail to diagnose a serious and potentially fatal illness, it not only impacts the patient, but it can endanger the lives of many people. Individuals here in Illinois who experience similar hospital negligence may find it beneficial to learn more about the medical malpractice laws in our state. Pursuing a civil action may help plaintiffs win damages that can help with any medical expenses that may result. In addition, such a suit may serve as a punitive measure that can ensure that the hospital and doctors are more careful in the future.

Source: FOX5 Vegas, Hospital TB lawsuit involves employees, patients, volunteers, Doug Johnson and Craig Huber, Nov. 21, 2013

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