Virginia Mason sues scope manufacturer with widow of infection victim

Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle is joining the widow of a man who contracted a fatal infection from a scope in a lawsuit against medical scope manufacturer Olympus America, according to a report from The Seattle Times.

Scopes manufactured by Olympus were linked to infections in nearly 40 people in and around Seattle, as well as numerous others across the country.

The woman filing the suit is Theresa Bigler of Woodway, a town roughly 15 miles north of Seattle. She is the widow of 57-year-old Richard Bigler, who died in August 2013 after contracting an infection at Virginia Mason tied to an Olympus-made scope, according to the report.

Originally, Ms. Bigler filed a wrongful death suit in March against both Olympus and Virginia Mason. After meeting with the hospital, she agreed to work with Virginia Mason to hold Olympus accountable for Mr. Bigler's death and to make sure the scopes hospital officials called "badly designed and poorly regulated" are corrected.

Although Virginia Mason is still named as a defendant in the lawsuit, John Gagliardi, the lawyer representing Ms. Bigler, told The Seattle Times, "Virginia Mason was misled and misinformed by Olympus as to the safety of its devices."

Mr. Gagliardi expects the evidence will prove Olympus had previous knowledge regarding the scope's ability to harbor and spread potentially deadly bacteria and never informed any hospitals.



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