Lawsuit Against Seattle Children’s Hospital Highlights Emotional and Financial Toll of Mold Exposure

Seattle Children’s Hospital has been ordered to pay a total of approximately $215,000 in damages following a lawsuit over Aspergillus mold exposure. Although none of the plaintiffs contracted the potentially deadly mold, they claimed that their children had experienced distress or discomfort as a result of the hospital’s negligence. The jury agreed that the hospital had caused harm, but the amount awarded seemed relatively low for a medical trial. The damages were divided among three families involved in the lawsuit.

Seattle Children’s Hospital had already accepted responsibility for their patients’ exposure to mold, leaving it up to the jury to determine the appropriate damages. The hospital’s defense argued that the anti-fungal treatments administered to the children typically have no adverse effects, and two of the plaintiffs’ children experienced no complications whatsoever.

In response to the jury’s decision, a spokesperson for Seattle Children’s Hospital emphasized their commitment to the health and safety of their patients. They expressed gratitude to the court and jurors for carefully considering the evidence in the case. The hospital acknowledged their responsibility for the potential exposure to mold in their operating rooms and accepted the verdict.

This lawsuit follows an announcement made by Seattle Children’s Hospital in 2019. The hospital disclosed that six children had died since 2001 due to Aspergillus mold in their operating rooms. Additionally, at least 14 other young patients had been infected and treated, and another baby tragically died from Aspergillus the following year.

For 18 years, Aspergillus had been a recurring issue in some of the hospital’s older operating rooms. The precise cause was never revealed; however, investigations by the KING 5 Investigators indicated that gaps in the ventilation systems’ filters likely facilitated the growth of mold. Seattle Children’s Hospital has since replaced all of these systems with advanced HEPA filters.

This particular trial is considered a “bellwether” case, as it will set a precedent for the more than 70 remaining plaintiffs who did not contract the mold but underwent precautionary anti-fungal treatments. According to the Seattle law firm of Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore, there are approximately 20 other plaintiffs whose children allegedly contracted Aspergillus and who are still awaiting civil trials.

The outcome of this lawsuit has shed light on the risks faced by patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital due to mold exposure. The hospital’s acceptance of liability and the subsequent damages awarded indicate the seriousness of the situation. Moving forward, it is crucial for all medical facilities to prioritize patient safety and take proactive measures to prevent such incidents.