Multiple Lawsuits Filed in TB Outbreak at Summerlin Hospital - 8 News NOW

Multiple Lawsuits Filed in TB Outbreak at Summerlin Hospital

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LAS VEGAS -- Summerlin Hospital is facing multiple lawsuits after the tuberculosis outbreak inside its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit this past summer.

The Southern Nevada Health District alerted thousands of people of the potential exposure after the deaths of a mother and infant because of the disease.

Now, nearly 200 people have signed on with a Las Vegas law firm saying they've been impacted by the hospital's poor practices.

The office at Callister and Associates looked like a day care Friday as families explained how they were needlessly and carelessly exposed to TB. They claim the hospital owes them something for their heartache.

"It has been very traumatic. First getting that letter and trying to deal with what that meant for her and what it means for us," Sara McWilliams, whose infant daughter was exposed to TB, said.

In all, the SNHD contacted the families of 140 infants to be tested for tuberculosis. At this point, 61 people diagnosed with the potentially life-threatening disease.

It all started when a woman with the disease was allowed into the NICU at Summerlin Hospital.

"She came into the NICU just as well as my other family members. So I guess that is where she got it from there," Carmen Flamenco, whose daughter tested positive, said.

Callister and Associates, along with partner law firms, have served Summerlin Hospital with a lawsuit naming eight plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs include family members and staff with tuberculosis, along with the parents of some babies who still need testing. The infants in the NICU are still too young for an accurate TB test result.

Lawyers say the eight people listed in the lawsuit could be just the beginning.

"We have 172 people that have come forward and signed on the dotted line and said, 'we are affected. We need help.' That may not be shocking to you all, that was shocking to us," James Williams of Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams law firm said.

These families say the testing and precautionary treatment are miserable.

"They have to go in an X-ray machine and they clamp these big plastic things on their chest and you have to hold their arms up. It is scary for a little one. They don't know what is going on or why it is happening," McWilliams said.

They say there is nothing left to do.

"I just hope that everybody is able to get through it," said.

Summerlin Hospital officials deny the allegations and plan to defend the case.

8 News NOW also talked to the law firm which is representing the man whose wife and daughter died from the disease. They say they plan to formally submit a lawsuit at the end of the month after experts have looked over the evidence in their case.

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