Superbug Kills Two in California, Dirty Scopes to Blame

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In February 2015, seven patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center contracted an antibiotic resistant “superbug” known as Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) after undergoing endoscopy procedures that utilized Olympus Corporation duodenoscopes. Two of those patients died from that infection. In addition to the seven superbug contractions at UCLA Medical Center, infections have been reported in Los Angeles, Connecticut, Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. These cases of infection have been linked to endoscopes manufactured by Olympus Corp., Pentax, and Fujifilm. Additional cases are expected to surface.

The design of the scope includes many grooves and tiny crevices that collect bodily fluids and can serve as breeding grounds for bacteria. Standard industry procedures, set and enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may not suffice in ridding the devices of that bacteria and preventing it from spreading. A lawsuit was recently filed against Olympus by a California teen, Aaron Young, who contracted an infection at UCLA Medical Center after two endoscopic procedures were performed using Olympus brand scopes. Young is still being hospitalized for the infection and has been given a 50% chance of survival.

Investigations quickly uncovered that the Olympus brand scopes in question, the TJF-Q180V model duodenoscopes, underwent a redesign, but the FDA was not alerted and the scopes made it back to market without FDA approval. This intentional, reckless, and negligent action has caused deadly infections in a number of patients. More lawsuits are expected to surface on behalf of patients who contract this potentially fatal infection.

New Jersey and Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

The team of Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates is highly experienced in handling dangerous drug and medical device cases. Firm founder, Joseph L. Messa, Jr., has earned multiple seven-, eight-, and nine-figure verdicts and settlements for clients injured by defective drugs. Firm partner, Eric H. Weitz, served as co-counsel on Topamax mass tort cases in Philadelphia that earned over $14 million for victims of Topamax-related birth defects. Claudine Q. Homolash, of counsel attorney and author of a dangerous drug blog called Little Ms. Pharma, has dedicated her career to fighting for victims of dangerous drugs and medical devices.

Messa & Associates is armed with the right attorneys and the necessary connections to successfully litigate defective drug and medical device claims. If you or a loved one has become infected by the antibiotic resistant superbug after undergoing an endoscopic procedure, contact an attorney from Messa & Associates. Call 1-877-MessaLaw for a free consultation or submit an online inquiry for a free case evaluation.


Call the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of Messa & Associates today to discuss your case with a professional who has the knowledge to answer your questions or submit a free online inquiry.

Call, toll-free, 1-877-MessaLaw (637-7252), or submit a free online inquiry form.

About the Author:

Director of Marketing for Messa & Associates located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For all marketing or press release communications, contact

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