© 2021 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida

Mease Countryside Hospital Volunteer Infection Case Moves Forward

MRSA sample
MRSA sample

An appeals court Wednesday cleared the way for a lawsuit filed against a Pinellas County hospital by a volunteer who was diagnosed with the disease Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA. 

Ronald Wendel, who had served as a volunteer at Mease Countryside Hospital, filed a lawsuit alleging that he contracted the disease because of the hospital’s negligence, according to the ruling by a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

The hospital moved for summary judgment arguing there was “no evidence that his MRSA infection is causally connected to his volunteer work at Mease."

A Pinellas County circuit judge granted summary judgment for the hospital, averting the need for a full trial. But the appeals court Wednesday overturned that decision, saying the judge had used the wrong legal standard in granting summary judgment.

“While at trial Mr. Wendel would have the burden to prove a causal relationship between the hospital's alleged negligent acts and his injury, on a motion for summary judgment the burden was on Mease as the moving party to conclusively show that ‘no causal relationship exists and trial of it is no longer required,’" said the five-page ruling, written by appeals-court Judge Patricia Kelly and joined by judges Craig Villanti and Edward LaRose.

Copyright 2020 Health News Florida

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.