Montgomery-based law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles, P.C., has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of a patient who died in an Alabama hospital after receiving intravenous (IV) fluid tainted with a bacterial infection. Nine people died and 10 more were sickened in six Alabama hospitals after receiving IV packs filled with liquid nutritional supplements that were contaminated. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Barbara Young, whose mother, Mary Ellen Kise, died at Baptist Health Systems in Prattville, Ala.
“The families who have lost loved ones are not only in shock and grieving their losses, but they are concerned that this problem may be more widespread than is now known,” Jere L. Beasley, the firm’s founding shareholder, said. “We will do everything possible to see that justice is done in this matter. It is quite evident that all of those who have the responsibility to make sure a defective product that creates a hazardous and dangerous situation is not manufactured and distributed for use have failed to do so. This duty is especially high when it comes to drugs and medical devices and products that are put on the market.”
The bacteria were identified as Serratia marcescens, organisms that can cause infection in several sites on the body, including the urinary tract, respiratory tract, eyes, and in wounds. In this case, the bacteria entered the bloodstream due to the contaminated IV fluids. The bacteria can cause pneumonia and meningitis, and the infections are often fatal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified six Alabama hospitals where infections were confirmed – Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Shelby Baptist Medical Center, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, Medical West, Prattville Baptist Hospital, and Select Specialty Hospital, a long-term acute care hospital that operates within Trinity Medical Center.
“Hopefully, these six hospitals will be the only hospitals involved,” Beasley said. “But since the product was being distributed from January until the recall on March 24, we are concerned that there may have been others.”
The complaint (CV-2011-900094.00) was filed today in the Circuit Court for Autauga County, Alabama. Defendants named in the lawsuit are Meds I.V. LLC, Edward Cingoranelli, William Rogers, and Bill Vise.
Birmingham Business Journal: Death following IV treatment leads to lawsuit
The Birmingham News: Families of patients in tainted IV incidents seek answers