Class Action Commenced Against Toronto General Hospital in Relation to Bacterial Outbreak/Deaths - Jan. 6, 2009
TORONTO, January 6, 2009 - A class action claim was issued with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on December 24, 2008, on behalf of patients who were infected by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa ("Pseudomonas") outbreak while at Toronto General Hospital between December 1, 2004 and March 31, 2006 (the "PseudomonasOutbreak"). Pseudomonas is described as multidrug-resistant bacteria which causes illness and death in immunocompromised patients. Of 36 patients infected during thePseudomonas Outbreak, 17 died.
The claim was issued following the recent release of a study conducted by Dr. Susy Hota et al. entitled "Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Colonization and Infection Secondary to Imperfect Intensive Care Unit Room Design", published in the January 2009 edition of the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (the "Hota Study"), which identifies the source of thePseudomonas Outbreak. The claim seeks compensation for patients of Toronto General Hospital infected with Pseudomonas, as well as their families. The defendants named in the lawsuit are Toronto GeneralHospital and University Health Network.
The claim alleges that Toronto General Hospital and University Health Network were negligent in their testing methods relating to infection control protocols. In particular, the defendants failed to recognize that sinks and sink drains were the source of Pseudomonas in the Medical/Surgery Intensive Care Unit.
"While the release of the Hota Study exposing the cause of the Pseudomonas Outbreak at Toronto General Hospital is certainly an important first step for victims, it marks only the beginning of a longer process", said Joel P. Rochon, a partner at Rochon Genova LLP. "This class action provides an avenue for patients and their families to seek fair damages for this entirely avoidable tragedy."
The proposed representative plaintiff, Ronald Sherman, was admitted to emergency at Toronto GeneralHospital in November 2005 with pneumonia. "I was hospitalized for 4 months and nearly died from thePseudomonas infection while in intensive care," he said. "Toronto General Hospital should be held accountable to the affected patients and their families who were unnecessarily burdened with this terrible infection."
The allegations raised in the claim have not yet been proven in court.
For further information please contact Joel Rochon of Rochon Genova LLP at 416-548-9874.