Environmental Issue & Sick Building Syndrome Blog

Mold in a hospital killed organ transplant patients.

The REAL story is that hospitals send people back home without checking those homes from mold can be as deadly. As of now, we haven't seen the suggestion to check homes for mold in any discharge papers....even though we have advocated for that addition. They do suggest avoiding foods that contain mold. 

Its time that checking for mold in the homes before people return from the hospital should become standard procedure.

Envirospect has found mold in such homes, so we know it does happen.


UPMC and its linen supplier, Paris Cleaners Inc., have finalized a settlement agreement with six plaintiffs in a yearslong lawsuit in connection with a fatal mold crisis in 2014 and 2015 that prompted a federal investigation.

Documents filed with the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday indicate that the plaintiffs — who represent the estates of deceased UPMC patients Che DuVall, Daniel L. Krieg, John R. Haines, Katherine E. Landman, Lyle C. Dearth and Marita Madsen — reached a settlement with UPMC and Paris Cleaners. Documents containing details of the settlement were filed under seal and are not available to the public.

Posted by Dan Howard on February 14th, 2020 6:57 PM

Lawsuits Filed In Cases of Death in Mold Outbreak at UPMC Hospitals

Paris Healthcare Linen Services has been discovered to be the original source of the mold.

A deadly mold outbreak at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital campuses Montefiore, Presbyterian and Shadyside in Western Pennsylvania has been linked to contaminated bed linens from Paris Healthcare Linen Services. The contaminated sheets and linens were distributed by Paris Linen’s DuBois facility in Clearfield County; the same location which provides linens to all UPMC hospital campuses.

The attorneys of Meyers Evans Lupetin & Unatin are currently (as of October 31, 2017) representing four families in cases against the UPMC hospital system and Paris Companies in which multiple transplant patients have died as a result of a fungal infection. More such lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming weeks.

About The Mold Outbreak

This mold outbreak started with sheets that were contaminated with the fungi including Rhizopus, Rhizomucor, Mucor, Lichtheimia, and Zygomycetes.

These common fungi are considered harmless for most people – but for immune compromised patients or those suffering from auto-immune diseases they can result in a deadly infection such as Mucormycosis or Zygomycosis.

The sheets delivered by Paris Companies to the UPMC hospital system were found to be damp and contaminated with the mold spores. Upon delivery they were distributed throughout the hospitals, including to the transplant wards, where immune suppressed transplant patients were exposed to the fungi both through skin contact and more dangerously, through respiratory contact.

As of February 2017, the UPMC hospital system continues to use Paris Companies as their hospital linen distributor, and Paris Companies continues to use the same laundry service.

Any patient suffering from an auto-immune disorder or a compromised immune system needs to be aware that UPMC hospitals may not taking proper precautions to protect patients from exposure do potentially deadly mold and fungal infections.

Contact our experienced medical malpractice lawyers if you have questions about any patient treated at UPMC hospitals that experienced a fungal infection during hospitalization.

Additional Articles About The UPMC Mold Outbreak From Other Sources:

Trib Live: Family disturbed by UPMC statements on mold death
CNN: Lawsuit alleges sixth death linked to Pittsburgh hospital mold outbreak
Post Gazette: Lawsuit says mold killed patient at third UPMC hospital
CBS: Attorneys: 6th Patient Died Due To UPMC Mold Outbreak
WPXI: Lawsuit blames death of 6th patient on UPMC mold
WTAE : New lawsuit alleges wrongful death of UPMC Shadyside patient due to mold infection
CNN: Mold at two Pittsburgh hospitals linked to 5 deaths

Posted by Dan Howard on May 14th, 2018 9:26 PM


Risks for Mold in Your Home

  • Roof leaks
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Leaking basement
  • Finished basements
  • Exposed soil in basements or crawl spaces
  • Energy Star rated homes
  • Interior french drains
  • High humidity homes
  • Oversized air conditioners
  • Basements full of contents that can grow mold
  • Under ventilated attics


More Contaminates than Mold can Affect Home Health

            All of the at high risk patient groups mentioned above can be affected by indoor contaminants. These include formaldehyde, chemicals used in hobbies, pesticides, previous drug activity, lead, radon and asbestos.


Keeping A Home Healthy When You Have "at Risk" Patients

  • Test a home before bringing an immunosuppressed person into a home
  • Test new homes before purchasing
  • Immediately address any type of water leak
  • Dry out any water leak as soon as possible
  • Monitor humidity in the home
  • Properly ventilate attics
  • Have HVAC equipment properly sized and installed
  • Add air to air exchangers in tight homes
  • Upgrade to sealed interior french drain systems
  • Provide weep holes for brick buildings
  • Keep roof and surface water away for the home


            The amazing fact is that most organ transplant patients, and other immunosuppressed patients do not have their homes checked for mold and other contaminants that could be deadly. It is time for that to change.   

Posted by Dan Howard on September 22nd, 2015 1:35 PM

            The suspension of one of the nation's renowned e organ transplant program is very big news, but really..... another important story here is that mold exposure can happen in the homes, automobiles, workplaces and many other areas frequented by these and other immunosuppressed patients.  Patient's home environments need checked for mold before a transplant patient is sent home.

            As one of the nation's leading transplant programs, the PA and Federal Departments of Health and the CDC are involved in exploring and solving the UPMC transplant patient mold problem. This is an important issue because the very lives of many patients awaiting organ transplants are now hanging in the wind while the mold deaths are being examined. 

            The  transplant centers like UPMC have trained professionals to monitor mold conditions and recognize the health problems mold creates when they arise. If they can miss the problem, what is a homeowner to do without that level of expertise?

            The longer an immunosuppressed person is in any place with mold, the higher the chance for a serious mold related health problem to occur. Most transplant patients spend far more time in their homes than in a hospital. The risk of serious problems arising increases with the longer the time of exposure no matter where that exposure exits.     

               Make no bones about it. Transplant surgery is a true miracle of modern medicine for the recipients and their loved ones. It was as recent as in 1967 that the very first successful heart, kidney, and combination liver and pancreas transplants were performed. But that miracle  can fade away because of the either the hospital or the home environment.

            The background here is that organ transplant recipients are placed on immunosuppressant drugs. This simply means that their immune system needs to be “turned on to low” to avoid the body rejecting the organs. The good news is that with anti-rejection therapy, transplant patients can now live for decades as compared to the original outcome of many living only days after the transplant.

The Mold Health Risk Affects More Than Organ Transplant Patients

            According to  the Minnesota Department of Health, many other people in addition to organ transplant recipients can be affected by mold growth. These include:

  • Infants and children
  • Asthmatics
  • Elderly people
  • Individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies or asthma
  • Persons having severely weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients,)
  • Persons with neurological or immunosuppression diseases such as Lupus or MS

            The news stories indicate that the UPMC mold problem, has existed for quite some time, exposing many patients to the deadly risks. The right person to observe and test for the problem  was not involved. It needs to be a program in place. 

Posted by Dan Howard on September 22nd, 2015 1:33 PM



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