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Healthcare Acquired Infections in Nursing Homes and Hospitals: Standards of Practice, Claims, Defenses, Damages

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys in litigating lawsuits arising from healthcare-associated infections (HAI) (a/k/a nosocomial) acquired in hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities. The program will discuss accepted standards of practice and how liability arises from a failure to follow proper infection control procedures and failure to diagnose and promptly treat the infection. The panel will review the unique issues and defenses in these cases and how to address untreatable infections.


HAIs claim over 100,000 lives and affect over 2 million hospital patients annually, and the numbers are rising. HAIs lead to longer recoveries, amputations, miscarriages, brain damage, sepsis, organ failure, and all too often, death. Many of these infections are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or left untreated for too long. HAIs are equally rampant in nursing homes, where many of the same infection-causing procedures are routinely performed on vulnerable populations.

Malpractice lawyers must understand accepted standards of care for infection control and how liability can arise even to non-patients. Facilities must stay current. Using or recommending outdated or inappropriate products or procedures can lead to liability. The facility may have duties of notification to patients, their families, and employees.

Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are the two most common and most expensive categories of medical malpractice. Counsel pursing these claims must show that the diagnosing physician failed to consider HAIs a possibility or failed to investigate and treat them timely and completely. The healthcare facility may be responsible for violating state or federal regulations regarding proper infection control protocols. Third parties likewise may have been at fault.

The defense may claim that the mistakes did not alter an inevitable outcome, blame the patient, "the empty chair," or deny all blame. Defendants are not limited to the physician or medical facility. Failure to join all defendants may jeopardize a valid claim. Traditional defenses are evolving and may now require expert testimony, without which the defense will be excluded.

Listen as this panel of experienced medical malpractice attorneys guides counsel through bringing and defending failure to diagnose claims involving HAIs.



  1. Common HAIs
  2. State and federal standards of care regarding infection control
    1. Hospitals
    2. Nursing homes
  3. How can applicable infection control standards be breached?
  4. Diagnosis of HAI
    1. Testing
    2. Timing
    3. Treatment
  5. Defendants
  6. Defenses
  7. Damages


The panel will review these and other pivotal issues:

  • What are the most common types of HAIs?
  • Who within an organization can be jointly liable with the facility?
  • How can infection control protocols breach the standard of care?
  • Is expert testimony needed to assert the "empty chair" defense?


Keris, Matthew
Matthew P. Keris

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin

Mr. Keris defends doctors, physician groups, hospitals and regional health centers in medical malpractice cases....  |  Read More

Powell, Jordan
Jordan S. Powell

Passen & Powell

Mr. Powell, one of the Founding Partners of Passen & Powell, has devoted his entire career to the representation of...  |  Read More

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