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Medical Malpractice Lawyer Reviewing Hospital Infections & Representing Injured Plaintiffs Nationwide
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Clostridium Difficile Infection Lawsuits

investigating hospital acquired infection cases

Hospital patients risk contracting serious infection of the Clostridium difficile (C. Diff.) bacterium, simply by making contact with beds or linens in medical facilities throughout the United States.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has repeatedly stressed the importance of routine sanitizing and infection-control procedures, and have labeled the C. Diff bacteria an urgent public health threat.

Hospital acquired infections are linked to higher death rates and higher stresses on health services, yet hospitals and other medical institutions have failed to properly address the issue, putting almost any patient at risk of a severe infection.

C. difficile infection is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections, and one of the more dangerous, causing a potentially life-threatening form of diarrhea.

In recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated there were a half a million C. Diff. infections, leading to nearly 30,000 deaths, most within a month of initial diagnosis.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated hospital negligence and medical malpractice attorney with experience in injuries and deaths due to hospital acquired C diff infections.

Mr. Lyon has represented plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of medical negligence, wrongful death and injury claims.

C Diff Infection Spreads in Unsterilized Rooms

Recent studies published by the American Medical Association (JAMA) conclude that patients using hospital beds are at risk of contracting C. Diff. infection from previous infected occupants.

The study explains that “C. diff spores are extremely hardy,” and hospitals are failing to sufficiently clean rooms and bed linens, and the C. Diff. outbreaks are likely to continue as long as medical facilities fail to find a solution to the public health issue.

In hospitals and nursing homes, the infection should be considered preventable as C. difficile primarily spreads on contaminated hands and gloves, cart handles, beds, bedside tables, toilets, sinks, stethoscopes, and thermometers.

Spores from C. difficile bacteria are spread to surfaces and objects when people who are infected fail to wash their hands properly. The bacteria spores can persist in a room for weeks or months.

Who is at Risk of C Diff Infection?

Although any hospital patient could be at risk of infection, people most at risk of C. difficile tend to be older, and have existing chronic conditions. High antibiotic exposure is also a strong risk factor for infection.

C. difficile infection is most commonly associated with time spent in healthcare facilities where a higher percentage of people carry the bacteria. The known risk factors for patient infection include:

  • Antibiotic exposure
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Extended stay in healthcare facility
  • Advanced age

Symptoms of C Diff Infection

In severe cases of infection, people tend to be severely dehydrated and may require hospitalization. Some people may carry the C. difficile bacterium but never show symptoms. They may, however, still spread the infection to more susceptible patients. The most common symptoms of C. difficile infection include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal, swelling, cramping and pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever
  • Blood or pus in the stool
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Complications of C. difficile infections may include the following:

  • Kidney failure
  • Toxic megacolon—an enlarged or ruptured colon requires emergency surgery
  • Bowel perforation—a perforated bowel can spill bacteria into the abdominal cavity, leading to a life-threatening infection
  • Pseudomembranous colitis (PMC)
  • Sepsis
  • Death

Hospital Acquired Infection Lawsuits

The CDC has stated that healthcare facilities should monitor C. difficile infections and continually reassess recommended practices and strategies for infection control. If strategies are consistently implemented, hospitals should be able to improve infection prevention, and reduce the large number of infections seen each year in the United States.

Studies have identified the common risk factors that trigger hospital-acquired infections and outbreaks, though hospital management and staff have not yet provided a solution for the ongoing issue, putting every patient at risk.

By filing a claim against a healthcare facility, the entire healthcare institution will be forced to take responsibility for unsafe environments, and will be forced to improve patient care in the future.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing c diff infection cases
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Questions about Medical Malpractice

What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.

Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.

Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.

Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.

What is a “Never Event” in Hospital Care ?

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rates, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:

What if a hospital makes me an offer directly?

Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.

We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.

The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.

Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.

If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.

There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.

The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.

If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.

Why hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

Your Right to Safe healthcare
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A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.

This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year are due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.

Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week. 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.


$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.