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Hospital Sued Again over ‘Flesh-Eating Bacteria’

Tampa General, which is still battling a lawsuit from a woman who lost parts of her arms and legs to necrotizing fasciitis, now has a similar suit, except that the patient in the new case died, the Tampa Tribune reports.

Coincidentally, both patients were in intelligence work at MacDill Air Force Base, but their infections occurred in different years and do not appear to be related.

The complaint in the first suit, by Lisa-Marie Carter, says a University of South Florida faculty surgeon accidentally cut her intestine in half, which led to a full-scale infection and eventual amputations.

The second suit, which concerns the death of Army Master Sgt. James T. Jones IV, says he developed the infection after an IV was mistakenly placed under his skin, not in a vein, and fluids built up unnoticed in his arm.

Health News Florida checked with the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner, which found in Jones’ autopsy that he died of a cardiac arrhythmia. But Kimberley Kohn, attorney for Jones’ widow Jin-Sun Jones, told Health News Florida in an e-mail that “based upon our investigation, we believe we have a good faith basis to allege wrongful death.”

TGH spokesman John Dunn said Wednesday that the hospital has not yet received the complaint in the Jones case. The hospital is fighting the Carter case, denying liability.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.