Summerlin Hospital counter-suing local attorney

LAS VEGAS -- Summerlin Hospital has counter-sued a local attorney for statements he made about the lawsuit filed against the hospital in the tuberculosis case.

The hospital announced Thursday it was suing Robert Cottle and his law firm for defamation. The lawsuit contends Cottle defamed the hospital and medical staff by alleging they purposely failed to diagnose TB in a patient to avoid oversight by the state.

Cottle sued the hospital for his client Ruben White. Last year, White‘s wife and one of their infant daughters died from tuberculosis, which doctors at the hospital did not diagnosis. The second baby died before being tested for the disease.

In a statement about the lawsuit filed in November, Cottle alleged the doctors did not find TB because it would have lead to inspections from public health authorities. The hospital calls the accusations false, malicious and defamatory.

Cottle told 8 News NOW that he is surprised by the lawsuit because he had been working with the attorney from Summerlin Hospital, and discussing an amicable resolution that included factually accurate statements.

Vanessa White was allowed into the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to see her premature babies, causing an outbreak of TB. Dozens of mothers, babies, family members and hospital staff had to go through testing.


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