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Olympus on trial in first case alleging contaminated medical scopes caused deadly superbug

Fri, 06/16/2017

Attorney cast blame on the hospital for failing to follow the company's cleaning instructions.
 
Three executives from Japan loom large in a cramped courtroom here -- at least their photos do, mounted on a white poster board propped in front of the jury.
 
"They were the key decision-makers," one attorney said during opening arguments to a lawsuit brought by a local widow against a giant Tokyo-based medical device maker.
 
Theresa Bigler's case is the first to go to trial in the U.S. stemming from a series of deadly superbug outbreaks across the country that were linked to contaminated medical scopes. She is suing Olympus Corp., claiming that one of its tainted devices caused the infection that led to her husband's death in August 2013. The Olympus executives, her attorneys say, remained silent for too long about a design flaw that hindered cleaning of these reusable scopes.