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Hospital Infection Dispute Heads To Supreme Court

Purple MRSA cells under a microscope.
Public Health Image Library (PHIL)
The Florida Channel
Magnified 20,000X, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a grouping of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria.

A Pinellas County hospital wants the Florida Supreme Court to take up a dispute about a hospital volunteer who was diagnosed with the disease Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA.

Mease Countryside Hospital last week filed a notice that is a first step in asking the Supreme Court to consider a lawsuit filed by Ronald Wendel, who served as a volunteer and alleged he contracted the disease because of the hospital’s negligence.

The notice came after the 2nd District Court of Appeal last month cleared the way for the lawsuit to move forward. As is common, the hospital did not provide detailed arguments in the notice.

But earlier in the case, it argued there was “no evidence that his MRSA infection is causally connected to his volunteer work at Mease,” according to the appeals-court ruling.

A Pinellas County circuit judge granted summary judgment for the hospital, averting the need for a full trial. But the appeals court overturne