Hospital Infection Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Increase

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Most of us think of going to the hospital as a way to get better, not as a means to get sick. However, contracting an infection as a result of a hospital stay is happening more and more these days across the nation – and medical malpractice lawsuits based on hospital infections are commanding very large damages awards.

90,000 deaths occur each year

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), over 2 million hospital infections occur each year – 90,000 of those resulting in death. In addition, the CDC estimates that an additional 1.5 million infections occur in long term care facilities each year.

Courts have ruled that these are preventable and patients who sue these medical facilities are being awarded large jury verdicts or settling their cases for millions of dollars. According to an article in LawyersUSA and other news reports, these three cases were recently resolved for several million dollars:

  • November 2008: The family of a Massachusetts woman who died of a flesh eating bacteria virus while in a hospital for cancer treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma was awarded $13.5 million in a jury verdict.
  • November 2008: A Utah woman contracted a flesh eating bacteria and lost three of her limbs and several of her organs while in a hospital delivering her child and settled her case for $16 million.
  • July 2008: A Missouri man contracted a staph infection and lost his kidney, a leg and a foot while in the hospital having a pacemaker inserted and was awarded $2.58 million.

Preventable medical malpractice injuries

Consumer advocate groups and legal experts say that while these are preventable injuries, hospitals aren’t doing everything they could to prevent them – and are being sued because of it. In fact, Betsy McCaughy, the founder and chair of the Committee to Reduce Infection and Deaths, a New York based non-profit safety organization, says that although over half of all U.S. states now have laws requiring the reporting of infections acquired in hospitals, these types of lawsuits are the “next asbestos” – meaning that there will be a great deal of litigation over the issue in the future.

While the issue is only now becoming headline news, it is in no way a new issue. The U.S. government has already taken a hard stance on the issue. In October of 2008, it reported that Medicare will no longer provide reimbursement for certain types of hospital-acquired infections.

If you’ve been injured due to a hospital acquired infection, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. As always, consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption