Wisconsin Hospital Wins Infection Lawsuit

June 9, 2011

Columbia Hospital, formerly located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has prevailed in a lawsuit against it based on claims of increased infection risks, according to WISN TV.

The case involved an orthopedic surgeon, James Stoll, MD who spoke out as a whistleblower against  the hospital claiming the hospital’s construction plans for a new hospital campus led to funding cuts to the hospital’s infection control program.

Dr. Stoll expressed his allegations in 2008, blaming the hospital budget cuts for an increase in infections.  He was placed under a gag order at that time.

The hospital closed in 2010, following a merger with St. Mary’s Hospital at a new campus.

During the trial brought by a patient against the hospital, Stoll testified “he believed dirty surgical instruments resulted in an increase in staph infections at the old hospital, including the deadly MRSA bacteria.”  “In a very short period of time – in July, August, September and October – there were four infections in a very short period of time,” Stoll told the jury.

Dr. Stoll’s testimony was countered by a hospital expert witness who testified that the infection likely came from the plaintiff herself.  The jury ruled there was no increased infection risk during the patient’s surgery; there was no evidence to support the claim that the hospital caused the infection.

The jury did award the plaintiff $37,000 in medical bills and pain and suffering however.

Sources:

Columbia Hospital Cleared in Infection Case.  WISN TV.  June 9, 2011.

Doctor Alleges Dirty Instruments At Columbia Hospital. WISN TV. June 3, 2011.

 

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