Family Says Triad Group’s Tainted Wipes Killed Son

The grieving parents of two-year-old Harrison Kothari are suing the makers of <"">recalled alcohol prep products that have been making headlines for dangerous contamination issues. The lawsuit alleges that the defective products led to Harrison’s meningitis, which caused his death.

As we’ve previously written, Harrison died from acute bacterial meningitis following the surgical removal of a benign cyst near his brain; sterile alcohol pads made by Triad Group were used in the surgery, and the family alleged negligence on the part of the company. Triad Group faces other lawsuits over its tainted products that include pads and wipes.

Sandra and Shanoop Kothari say their little boy was scheduled to be discharged from the hospital following the surgery; however, the day prior to release, Harrison came down with an acute, significant infection that continued to worsen rather quickly, said MSNBC. Harrison soon suffered from multi-organ failure, dying on December 1, 2010, noted MSNBC. Lab cultures indicated acute bacterial meningitis, which was caused by the Bacillus cereus bacteria, which is most often seen in rare foodborne poisoning outbreaks, noted MSNBC, not in hospital settings.

“They had no explanation as to how he contracted it,” said Sandra Kothari, 37, Harrison’s mother. “They know it’s rare in the hospital,” quoted MSNBC.

We recently wrote that U.S. Marshalls seized $6 million worth of medical products from H&P Industries Inc., which does business as Triad Group, at the behest of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The raid was prompted by the failure of H&P Industries to comply with the FDA’s current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) regulations. Over the past few months, Triad Group has issued several massive recalls of tainted alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs, alcohol swabsticks, and other products, sold under various brand names because of potential Bacillus cereus contamination. H&P Industries also issued a Povidine Iodine Prep Pad recall because of concerns that they could be contaminated with Elizabethkingia meningoseptica, a type of bacteria associated with flesh eating bacteria disease, meningitis in newborn infants, and pneumonia in patients on ventilators.

Apparently, the Kotharis did not realize that there were issues with the Triad products, only learning on January 5th of the problems after a relative saw an FDA notice concerning some of the massive recalls that involved the same infectious bacteria that killed their son, said MSNBC.

“These wipes were used in his care every single day, multiple times a day,” said Shanoop Kothari, Harrison’s father, quoted MSNBC. “We’re confident that that’s the cause,” said Kothari, 38…. There was no other explanation that made any sort of sense. He contracted a very rare bacteria. These swatches were tainted with that bacteria,” Harrison’s father added.

The complaint was filed over the weekend in the U.S. District Court in Houston, charging the Triad Group of Hartland, Wisconsin, with gross negligence, said MSNBC. The lawsuit also seeks damages over Harrison’s death. “Our emotional response over this has been horrible,” said Shanoop Kothari. “We’ve been devastated. We’ve been absolutely crushed,” quoted MSNBC. In addition to his parents, Harrison is survived by his seven-year-old sister, Hannah.

According to Dr. Aaron Glatt, spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and president of St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, New York, the bacteria is significant and dangerous, “It can be a pretty bad bug,” said Glatt, reported MSNBC.

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