December 4, 2019

Flurry of lawsuits against Seattle Children’s detail human toll from mold infections

Source: Seattle Times, December 3, 2019
Posted on:

The six patients came from as far as Alaska. They ranged in age from a 17-year-old girl to a 2-month-old boy. Binding them together: harm they endured after a stay at Seattle Children’s hospital, according to three lawsuits filed Monday.

The complaints against Children’s begin to tell the human stories behind the failures its executives disclosed two weeks ago, acknowledging the hospital’s air-handling system likely led to mold-based infections in 14 patients over 18 years. Six of those patients died. Read more.

December 3, 2019

Seattle Children’s facing lawsuits over mold infections

Source:, December 2, 2019
By: Kate Walters

Seattle Children’s hospital is facing lawsuits over mold-related deaths and infections.

One claim filed Monday on behalf of four children is seeking class action status.

The suit claims all four children were infected with Aspergillus mold while they were patients at the hospital. Three have since died. Read more.

November 19, 2019

Residents claiming vibrations from former Lakewood Hospital site damaged homes

Source:, November 16, 2019
By: Emily Bamforth

Residents are claiming that vibrations from construction at the former Lakewood Hospital site are causing damage to their homes, according to city documents. The city promises to address any damage.

Lakewood officials held a meeting with residents of Belle and Marlowe Avenues adjacent to the hospital site on Wednesday to explain the vibrations coming from the site, as well as to share information about contamination found between bedrock and a floor slab in part of the former hospital. Read more.

November 12, 2019

Seattle Children’s hospital again closes some operating rooms because of mold

Source:, November 11, 2019
By: Ryan Blethen

Seattle Children’s has closed three of its operating rooms because of the same fungus that forced the shutdown of all the hospital’s operating rooms earlier this year. The hospital is also looking into two new infections caused by the Aspergillus mold. Read more.

July 8, 2019

Mold infections leave one dead and force closure of operating rooms at children’s hospital

Source:, July 3, 2019
By: Hannah Knowles

One patient dead. Five others infected. A thousand surgeries postponed and 3,000 people told to watch for infection symptoms.

That’s the toll so far from mold problems at Seattle Children’s Hospital that forced the shutdown in May of all main operating rooms on its main campus in Seattle. The hospital says issues with its air-filtering system were probably at fault.

The six patients who developed infections — three last year, three this year — were more at risk from the mold because of their medical procedures, according to the hospital, which U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country and this year rated top in the Northwest. The death stemmed from an infection in 2018 but occurred this year.

Mark Del Beccaro, chief medical officer at the children’s hospital, announced at a news conference Wednesday that the operating rooms would reopen Thursday, as daily air-testing results indicated the facilities were safe.…

May 23, 2019

Mold discovery at Seattle Children’s Hospital closes operating rooms, officials say

Source:, May 22 2019
By: Stephen Sorace

Seattle Children’s Hospital closed several operating rooms and is contacting the families of about 3,000 children who’ve had recent procedures after a common type of mold was detected in the facility over the weekend, officials said.

Aspergillus mold was found in four of the 14 operating rooms following a routine check, hospital officials told The Seattle Times. The affected rooms will remain closed until further notice. Dozens of surgeries have been moved or rescheduled.

“Patient safety is our top priority, and we are taking this situation very seriously,” hospital spokeswoman Alyse Bernal said in a statement.

Aspergillus is a common mold found both indoors and outdoors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most people breathe in the spores every day without getting sick, the mold poses a greater risk to those with compromised immune systems or lung disease. The mold can cause allergic reactions and infections in the lungs and other organs.

While the hospital said it believes the risk to surgical patients is “extremely low,” it is contacting those who’ve had surgical procedures in the past four months, the paper reported.

Hospital officials told KOMO News that staff are cleaning the affected areas and will work with an industrial hygienist to determine how the mold contaminated the operating rooms.

Two patients at the hospital have developed Aspergillus infections over the past year, KOMO reported. One of the patients died. Details on the cases couldn’t be shared because of health care privacy laws.…

November 29, 2018

4 sickened with Legionnaires’ disease at UW’s University Hospital

Source:, November 29, 2018
By: Anuja Vaidya

UW Health’s University Hospital in Madison, Wis., identified four patients who have developed Legionnaires’ disease. These are the first cases of the disease acquired at the hospital in 23 years.

The hospital urine-tested the patients, three of whom were previously hospitalized and one of whom is an inpatient. All four tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease in the past 10 days.

The hospital suspects the cause is its hot water system. Legionnaires’, a type of pneumonia, is caused by bacteria that are usually present at low concentrations in tap water. People contract Legionnaires’ when they inhale droplets of water in the air that contain the Legionella bacteria, according to the CDC.

The hospital has a water treatment system, however, “a recent adjustment to that system may have compromised its function,” according to a statement.

University Hospital has stopped the use of hospital showers until early Nov. 29. Additionally, it is using a hyperchlorination process to flush all hot water lines to eliminate any Legionella bacteria.

Two of patients have been discharged, while the other two remain hospitalized. The Wisconsin state Division of Public Health has been notified.…

June 18, 2018

Legionella found during water tests at VA hospital in Loma Linda

Source: Orange County Register (CA), June 14, 2018
Posted on:

Legionella bacteria was discovered Wednesday, June 13 at the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center in Loma Linda, a facility at the center of a federal whistleblower complaint from a group of worried physicians and nurses.

Hospital officials learned of the Legionella through quarterly water safety testing, according to Wade J. Habshey, spokesman for the Pettis Medical Center.

“This does not mean there is a Legionella outbreak,” he said in a statement. “The facility has a zero-tolerance policy for Legionella.”

Mitigation efforts are underway and out-of-service signs have been placed in front of affected rooms and drinking fountains as a safety precaution.

“Service chiefs are notifying staff members as appropriate” regarding the remediation, Habshey said.

Information was not immediately available regarding how long it will take to remove the Legionella or whether patients have been transferred to other rooms during mitigation efforts.…

June 14, 2018

Legionnaires’ disease case suspected at UW Medical Center

Source:, May 23, 2018

A case of suspected Legionnaires’ disease has been found at the University of Washington Medical Center — the third time in as many years that the disease has been suspected at the facility.

UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance report a suspected case of Legionella pneumonia involving a patient in a SCCA Hospital at the UW Medical Center.

Officials said the patient “has been diagnosed with a highly probable healthcare associated Legionella pneumonia.”

The patient is in satisfactory condition and is responding well to treatment, officials said.

“We believe this is an isolated case, and Legionella bacteria are rarely, if ever, transmitted from person to person,” UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance said.…

August 30, 2017

Lead-Based Paint Is a “Pollutant” within CGL Pollution Exclusion

Source:, August 2017
By: Kent Holland

Where lead-based paint was ingested by a tenant’s child, the tenant sued her landlord for injuries allegedly sustained by the child. The landlord tendered the claim to its commercial general liability (CGL) insurer who, instead of defending the case, filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the pollution exclusion of the CGL policy barred coverage for the alleged injuries. The Owner held that, although not specifically listed in the pollution definition as a “pollutant,” lead-based paint is, in fact, a “pollutant” within the meaning of the policy. The policy’s pollution exclusion was, therefore, applicable, and the insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify the landlord. See Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 298 Ga. 716, 784 S.E.2d 422 (2016).

The terms of the CGL policy required the insurer “to pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’” … “only if: (1) the ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ is caused by an ‘occurrence’ that takes place ….” An occurrence is defined as “an accident.” Coverage was subject to exclusions, including the pollution exclusion, which provided that the insurance does not apply to “(1) ‘[b]odily injury’ or ‘property damage’ arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release or escape of ‘pollutants’: (a) [a]t or from any premises, site or location which is or was at any time owned or occupied by, or rented or loaned to, any insured.”…