Hospital sues lawyers over poor care claims

A legal tempest has blown up in Kentucky over claims that a Louisville hospital has not been maintaining sanitary conditions. Two attorneys had sued Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Healthcare, the parent organization, arguing that conditions at Jewish Hospital were grossly unsanitary, causing infections which resulted in patient illnesses and death. The suits cite reports suggesting that the hospital had many substantial infection-control problems, including a failure to clean reusable equipment, filthy carpeting, poor control of bodily fluids and a failure of doctors and staff to wash hands and wear gowns, gloves and masks as needed.

Now Jewish has countersued the attorneys, Joseph White and Michael O'Connell, contending that the two had defamed the hospital in comments to the media and intentionally misrepresented the facts of the situation. In their defense, the attorneys are citing internal hospital reports, the state's Cabinet for Health Services and multiple patient complaints, which they say support their claims. The hospital, however, says that a Joint Commission investigation cleared them of these allegations.

To learn more about the case:
- read this article from The Courier-Journal

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