Class-action lawsuit filed against Seattle Children's Hospital

Two lawyers with Stritmatter, Kessler, Koehler and Moore Law Office in Seattle filed a class-action lawsuit Monday against Seattle Children's Hospital, according to a news release from the law office.

>> New emails reveal Seattle Children's told health officials about mold problem history in 2018

A representative with the law office said the complaint is being brought by three former child patients who were exposed to Aspergillus due to building management negligence.

The lawyers said if the class certification is granted, the lawsuit seeks to encompass all child patients who contracted the illness while hospitalized at the Sandpoint building, going back to 2000.

>> Changes coming to Aspergillus reporting requirements

The CEO of the hospital recently said that five deaths between 2001 and 2014 from surgical site infections from Aspergillus mold were likely caused by the air handling systems that serve the operating rooms.

Seattle Children's said it has had seven Aspergillus surgical site infections since the summer of 2018. One of those patients also died.

Last month, routine air test results again revealed the presence of Aspergillus in the air in three operating rooms and two procedural areas at the main campus.

In an August news report, emails obtained by KIRO 7 show Seattle Children's Hospital had a strategy of keeping information about the deadly mold in its operating rooms under wraps, dating back to 2018.

Emails between Dr. Danielle Zerr, King County Public Health, and the CDC during the hospital's 2018 aspergillus cases — which led to the death of one patien t-- show a "reactive media strategy." It instructs people to reveal important information about cases, including whether the hospital "had any patients with a confirmed aspergillus surgical site infection," only if asked about it.

Indeed, the strategy worked for 2018; the media only found out about new aspergillosis cases in May 2019.

Watch a replay of the press conference embedded below:

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