In today’s world, we expect that a healthy college student will overcome just about any virus or infection with the help of modern medicine. However, it sometimes takes more than a hospital to help a patient survive. When a deadly bacteria outbreak occurs, it requires the public to be informed so people and health care professionals can be on the lookout for symptoms.
This was not the case on the campus of Ohio University in 2010. Four students became infected with Strain B of bacterial meningitis, a strain that cannot be prevented through vaccination. Rather than warn students about the deadly outbreak, university officials decided to keep the knowledge of the deadly strain a secret.
Soon after, two other OU students became infected. One of them died in the hospital.
The victim’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ohio University and a long legal battle ensued. The university and family recently agreed to a $1 million settlement.
The case reveals that public awareness is essential for containing a deadly outbreak and preventing unnecessary deaths. If a patient suffers permanent injury or death because officials hid knowledge of an outbreak, the family may have legal recourse.
If you believe you may have a claim against a school, government or hospital, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.