Lessons From Litigation

Court rules children's hospital must turn over mold infection records

After a year-and-a-half battle, the Washington state appeals court ruled that Seattle Children's hospital must uphold a court order which requires the release of any mold-related medical records. In 2019, Seattle Children's closed its operating rooms due to an ongoing problem with Aspergillus mold infecting patients in its operating rooms. Aspergillus is a common mold that is usually harmless unless implanted deep in a surgical wound and the person has a weak immune system. While the hospital tried to block the release of mold-related records, hospital administrators admitted that several young patients have died from Aspergillus mold that was acquired in operating rooms and lawsuits claim that over two dozen children have been infected with the mold. With the Court of Appeals opting to publish the ruling requiring the release of mold-related records, means this is a precedent-setting case that will be allowed to be cited in future court cases in which a hospital is trying to withhold records.

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