Geisinger recently settled lawsuits over premature baby bacterial infections linked to breast milk, according to a lawyer representing the families.
Attorney Matt Casey, founding partner of Ross Feller Casey LLP, said, “In addition to monetary compensation, this litigation and settlement have resulted in express apologies from Geisinger to my clients and contributed to Geisinger taking steps to prevent anything like this from happening again.
"Geisinger has changed the process by which it prepares donor breast milk, and it has accepted full responsibility for what happened to my clients’ children," Casey said. "I recognize Geisinger’s willingness to cooperate in achieving a resolution of these cases and its efforts to be transparent during the litigation.”
Eight babies were infected and three died from pseudomonas bacterial infections at Geisinger in fall of 2019. Casey said another then-premature baby involved suffered a serious brain injury.
By Dec. 6, Geisinger had corrected several deficiencies discovered by the state Department of Health in October, and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) resumed normal operations.
The Department of Health determined during its investigation that the hospital’s systemic failure to prevent infection in its most vulnerable patients constituted “immediate jeopardy” — a legal finding that means Geisinger placed its patients at risk of serious injury or death, The AP reported.
“Geisinger recognizes Mr. Casey’s advocacy on behalf of these families and we apologize to each of the families involved,” said Dr. Jaewon Ryu, Geisinger president and CEO. “The loss of a child is tragic, and this settlement can never replace these young children, however we believe we have taken the steps necessary to prevent future infections and spare other families from this loss.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.