DC Blood Lab Zika Lawsuits
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Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is currently investigating cases from pregnant women and others who had their blood tested by the DC public health lab and were told they tested negative for the Zika virus, only to later discover that they did, in fact, have the infection.
The DC Public Health Lab was found to have a serious error in its testing procedure, which resulted in retesting of over 400 blood samples, many of which included blood samples collected from pregnant mothers. As of now, health officials have reported that at least 9 women tested positive for Zika after initially receiving a false negative.
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Do You Have a Case?
You might have a potential case if:
- You had your blood tested by the DC public health lab between July 14, 2016, and December 14, 2016.
- You were initially told you did not have the Zika virus, only to discover that you did test positive upon a retest.
- You were pregnant at the time the blood test was performed or later became pregnant.
- You or your child suffered harm, including birth defects and birth injuries, as a result of a Zika infection during pregnancy that should have been correctly identified.
Our legal team encourages anyone with concerns about blood tests performed by the DC lab to contact us as soon as possible for a free case review, during which we can personally discuss your situation, whether you may have a potential case, and how we can help you pursue justice and compensation for your damages. The investigation into the lab and affected patients are still ongoing, and pregnant women should take immediate steps to determine their health and the health of their babies, as well as begin the process of learning about their legal rights and options.
Error Leads to False Negative
According to the District’s health department, the “calculation error” was discovered by a department official in fall of 2016. In February of 2017, it was announced that 409 blood samples would be retested for Zika by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other approved labs, including close to 300 samples from pregnant women. To date, 9 samples from women have returned positive for Zika.
Concern for Pregnant Women & Birth Defects
Zika is a viral infection primarily spread through the bite of infected mosquitos, as well as through sexual transmission. While many people with the Zika virus don’t display symptoms or experience only minor symptoms, it is of particular concern for pregnant woman because it can be passed from pregnant mother to her unborn child.
Zika infection during pregnancy has been linked to a number of birth defects, including serious and life-altering complications:
- Microcephaly, a condition responsible for smaller heads and incomplete brain development in babies, is the most well-known defect associated with Zika.
- The infection has also been linked to hearing impairments, impaired growth, defects of the eye, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder of the immune and nervous system.
- Pregnant mothers with Zika have experienced stillbirth, miscarriage, and complications during birth.
Because the dangers of Zika are most concerning for pregnant mothers and their unborn babies, correctly identifying an infection and medical intervention early during pregnancy are critical. Unfortunately, the preventable errors made by the DC public health lab meant that some pregnant mothers were told they did not have the virus and therefore did not pursue needed medical treatment and monitoring with their doctors. Their babies may be at risk of suffering birth defects.
Timely Protect Your Rights
In order to assert a claim against the District of Columbia, you must put the city on notice of your claim, within 6 months. This is called a “12-309” notice. Failure to properly notify the District of Columbia could prevent you from making a claim.
Help for Victims and Families is Available
Our legal team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has been serving the injured and the wronged throughout the DC Metro Area for more than 45 years. Our lawyers are readily available to help any women and families who believe they might have been affected by the laboratory error when they were tested for Zika, and we are prepared to leverage our extensive experience to help victims pursue justice and financial compensation for their losses following the lab’s failures. We serve residents throughout the region from office locations in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
Request a FREE and confidential consultation by calling: (202) 659-8600.