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Lawsuit links 7th patient death to mold at UPMC

by: Aaron Martin Updated:

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PITTSBURGH - A lawsuit linked a seventh patient’s death to mold found at a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital.

Attorneys representing Katherine Landman, of New Castle, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Thursday against UPMC Shadyside and Paris Linens, the company contracted to provide linens to 22 UPMC hospitals.

According to the lawsuit, Landman was admitted to UPMC Shadyside to receive chemotherapy treatment for a relapse of leukemia in August 2015.


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The lawsuit claimed Landman was regularly exposed to hospital linens while her immune system was suppressed.

Less than a month after being admitted, a CT scan showed signs of an “invasive fungal disease."

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After several unsuccessful surgeries to remove the fungus, Landman died on Oct.11, 2015.

Landman's death is now the seventh that is linked to the UPMC mold outbreak.

In 2015, UPMC temporarily shut down its transplant unit at UPMC Presbyterian after three deaths of transplant patients may have been linked to mold inside the hospital.

An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the ventilation system inside negative pressure rooms where patients were treated was the likely culprit.

Since then, three lawsuits have been filed, claiming Paris Linens is the source of the mold.

In a statement to Channel 11, UPMC denied the connection between Landman's fungal infection and the hospital's linens. The health system issued the following statement: 

"Our hospitals are safe, and our ongoing monitoring and testing show no evidence of concerning mold infections … UPMC has gone above and beyond any existing guidelines and CDC recommendations for assuring the safety of our patients in implementing strategies to prevent these infections and in reporting these infections when they are discovered."

Stay with Channel 11 News and WPXI.com for continuing coverage. 

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