Family of Woman Who Died Sues Scope Maker After UCLA “Superbug” Outbreak

The family's complaint also accused Olympus of products liability, negligence and fraud

The family of a woman who believes she died in connection to the UCLA "superbug" outbreak has sued a medical device company for wrongful death.

Antonia Torres Cerda's husband and four children in Kings County, as well as mother in Mexico, filed the suit against Olympus Corporation of the Americas in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday.

The 48-year-old was exposed to a contaminated duodenoscope while undergoing multiple procedures with the device at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in October. Cerda "suffered significant injury and died" according to lawsuit documents.

She died on Nov. 8, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The family's complaint also accused Olympus of products liability, negligence and fraud.

Another patient, Aaron Young, represented by the same lawyer, sued the company Monday. The 18-year-old high school student was still hospitalized at UCLA, the LA Times reported.

UCLA Health System officials said last week that medical equipment tainted with an antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) may have caused the deaths of two patients and infected dozens of others between October 2014 and January 2015. The patients were being treated for a variety of issues, including gallstones and cancer.

The lawsuits asserted that after redesigning the Q180V Scope, an endoscope that may be reused on different patients, Olympus failed to update sterilizing instructions and exposed patients to "residual body fluids and organic debris."

UCLA officials said in an earlier statement that they "sterilized the scopes according to the standards stipulated by the manufacturer."

The LA Times reported that the school and the University of California Regents may be added as defendants in these case as more information is uncovered.

A UCLA spokesman told NBC4 the school does not comment on litigation. NBC4 reached out to Olympus without an immediate response.

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