Olympus executives take the Fifth during investigation of scope-related infection outbreak

Three executives from Olympus invoked the Fifth Amendment during a deposition about deadly infectious disease outbreaks linked to the Tokyo-based company's duodenoscopes, according to a Seattle Times report.

The trio of executives was deposed in the U.S. embassy in Tokyo and did not answer questions about internal company emails regarding various scope-related outbreaks. The emails reportedly told Olympus leaders not to issue a warning to U.S. hospital executives that the duodenoscopes may spread infections, despite such a warning being issued to European hospitals.

The Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination.

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The deposition is part of a lawsuit brought against Olympus by Seattle-based Virginia Mason Medical Center and the widow of a man who died after contacting a scope-related infection at the hospital.

At least 35 patients in the U.S. have died since 2013 after they developed infections linked to the difficult-to-clean scopes.

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