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Lawyers file class action lawsuit against Saint Luke’s over sterilization procedures

Posted at 11:47 AM, Apr 16, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lawyers representing a Kansas City-area family filed a class action lawsuit last week against Saint Luke’s Hospital over allegations the hospital failed in its sterilization procedures.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of William Berberich and his wife Barbara Berberich, alleges the hospital failed to perform “proper sterilization procedures” in a surgery on William in April 2022. The lawsuit says William developed complications that required a follow-up surgery.

Attorneys believe other patients may have been harmed by the hospital’s alleged failure to follow procedures in 2022 and 2023.

Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City released a statement Tuesday morning to KSHB 41 News.

"Saint Luke’s does not comment on pending litigation," the hospital said in the statement. "Saint Luke’s sterile processing team adheres to and follows the standards set by the nation’s most reputable governing organizations including the Association of Operating Room Nurses and the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association, the Association of Operating Room Nurses, The Joint Commission (TJC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS), and Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)."

The suit comes months after a KSHB 41 I-Team report revealed concerns over the sterilization practices made by the hospital’s former Sterile Processing Manager, Elizabeth Bell.

LINK | Read the lawsuit

Bell provided KSHB 41 with photos and video of conditions and medical instruments she said were unsanitary, damaged, rusty and broken.

“People’s families, their children, they have a right to safe surgery,” Bell told KSHB 41 I-Team’s Jessica McMaster in October 2023.

LINK | Saint Luke’s operates on patients with ‘rusty’ and ‘damaged’ equipment, according to complaint

The Berberich’s are being represented by the Cross Law Firm LLC in Overland Park.

Watch Jessica's 2023 report in the video player below.

Saint Luke's operates on patients with 'rusty' and 'damaged' equipment, according to complaint