Wrongful death suit filed in Summerlin Hospital TB outbreak - 8 News NOW

Wrongful death suit filed in Summerlin Hospital TB outbreak

Posted: Updated:
Rubin and Vanessa White Rubin and Vanessa White
LAS VEGAS -- The man whose wife and newborn girls started an outbreak of tuberculosis at the Summerlin Hospital and ultimately died from the disease filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital for failing to diagnose the disease.

Rubin White filed the lawsuit Wednesday against the hospital, doctors and nurses for the wrongful death of his wife Vanessa White and his newborn girls Abigail and Emma White.

Vanessa White, who did not know she had the disease, was allowed to visit her twins in the Summerlin Neonatal Intensive Care Unit this past summer. The lawsuit claims those visits exposed the children to the disease because the unit disregarded safety standards and precautions.

Her visits caused an outbreak of the disease in the NICU Level III unit.

Hundreds of people, including newborns, had to be tested for the potentially life-threatening disease. So far, 61 people connected to the hospital were diagnosed with TB.

White and one of her daughter's died from the disease. The other newborn also died but was not diagnosed with TB. White says he wants justice for his family.

"When certain days hit, it gets a little tougher, but as time goes forward, nothing really takes all the pain away, but certain things start making life easier to live," White said.

According to the lawsuit, during White's four months of treatment at the hospital, she was given 30 different diagnoses, but none of them was TB. The lawsuit states that tuberculosis was not mentioned until two days before her death and testing for the disease was not done until one day before her death.

White's attorney says the hospital did not want to find TB in White and her babies, because it is a must-report disease. Following a diagnosis of tuberculosis, he says the state gets involved and starts overseeing the facility.

"There may have been a motivation to find a cause for her condition other than TB. If the cause was some other infection, they wouldn't need the state government in there to investigate," attorney Robert Cottle said.

Summerlin Hospital declined an on-camera interview, but in a statement, a spokesperson said, "Due to patient confidentiality laws, we cannot comment on the specific care and treatment provided to any patient. We deny the allegations that have been made in this matter and intend to defend this matter vigorously in court."

The hospital is already facing multiple lawsuits connected to the outbreak.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.