Children’s hospital faces more lawsuits over ongoing mold issues

SEATTLE (KCPQ/CNN) - A children’s hospital in Seattle is facing more lawsuits after a class-action lawsuit filed Monday alleges hospital managers knew about the mold for years.

Jeff Sperring, CEO of Seattle Children’s Hospital, shocked the public in November when he admitted there was mold on its campus. Attorneys studying the Aspergillus cases say managers have known about the mold since at least 2005 and failed to take steps to fix the problem.

“This action is really targeted against the management, the building and engineer department of Seattle Children’s about a systemic cover up that’s existed for almost 19 years," said attorney Karen Koehler.

In a previous news conference, Sperring said 14 patients developed Aspergillus infections at the hospital. Six children died as a result.

One of the six children that died of Aspergillus was Logan Shaffer. Logan was exposed to the mold in 2005 while he was at the hospital for heart surgery. Court documents say he died of a heart aneurysm caused by the mold.

Attorney John Layman believes there are many more who have been exposed to Aspergillus at the hospital.

“You have numerous children coming there without Aspergillus and then after they’re there two weeks to a month, they develop the Aspergillus. That’s when we know they have a poorly functioning HVAC system," Layman said.

Layman says he told the hospital about its contaminated HVAC system in 2005 when a family filed a lawsuit against the hospital for Aspergillus. Through the process, problems throughout the entire hospital’s HVAC systems were discovered.

“You have a significant number of immuno-compromised patients that are developing Aspergillus infections pulmonary or otherwise," Layman said.

Seattle Children’s Hospital has not yet commented about the newly-filed lawsuit.

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