Posts tagged: David Fitzgerald

MRSA and Meat: 64% of Pork Samples In Grocery Stores Contaminated by Livestock and Handlers

We’ve blogged in the past about MRSA being found on grocery meat in Detroit. Now, the same problem is occurring in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. A a recent study published this past January revealed that 64% of pork samples from grocery stores in these areas were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. Of these, more than 6% tested positive for MRSA, the drug-resistant strain of Staph.

Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa and one of the study’s contributing authors notes the uncertainty of the source of contamination. The molecular typing from these samples are shown as a combination of both “human” and “pig” strains. This suggests that the bacteria may be from both the farm and the people who handle the products.

As most of you know, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most deadly and resistant strains of Staph bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, more than 90,000 people develop a serious MRSA infection every year and up to 20% of the infected population die. Of those that survive, many face incredibly difficult recovery periods that often involve more medication and surgery. Read more »

MRSA Infection Lawsuit Results In $17.5 Million Verdict

In 2005, the number of deaths caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in the United States overtook the number of deaths caused by AIDS.  More than doubling from five years earlier, almost nineteen thousand people died as a result of MRSA and a further ninety-four thousand suffered life-threatening infections from the bacterium.[1] What worries me when I hear reports like this is that while MRSA infections can be just as deadly as AIDS, they are generally much simpler to treat and prevent. In part, this is why I see a growing number of victims turning to courts to provide them with relief when medical authorities fail them.

David Fitzgerald had all four limbs amputated after suffering from a serious MRSA infection.

MRSA-related lawsuits are generally claims of negligence against a medical authority that has some responsibility or duty of care towards the victim.  Due to the varied ways in which a MRSA infection can be acquired or mistreated, liability can arise in many different circumstances against a variety of parties.  At low levels, a medical malpractice lawsuit can arise from an individual doctor misdiagnosing or mistreating a MRSA infection that has already occurred in their patient.  This is what happened to a patient in Texas, David Fitzgerald, whose doctor treated him with eight different antibiotics, none of which were effective against MRSAs.[2] As a result, David developed gangrene and had all four limbs amputated. He was awarded $17.5 million as a result of negligent treatment of his MRSA infection, however this was later reduced to $7.5 million under Texas damages cap ruling. David currently lives with his brother, and is unable to bathe or leave the house by himself.

As we trace responsibility up the food chain we see facilities at which victims acquired their infections being sued, especially hospitals.  These types of lawsuits focus on environmental conditions at the facility and place the blame for the infection on Read more »

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