Parents Sue UCSF Children's Hospital After Son Dies

Suit filed after son dies from Legionnaire's disease

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A pair of Lake County law enforcement officers are suing UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital after their son died there from a bacterial infection, according to reports.

    Ryland Joseph, aged 7 months, died May 16 at the hospital in San Francisco following a bone marrow transplant, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

    A bacteria that "lurks in water pipes" -- Legionnaires' disease -- killed him. Ryland was in the hospital for three weeks. His parents say he contracted the rare form of pneumonia at the hospital because the time between exposure and symptoms is between two and 14 days, the newspaper reported.

    His mother, Kellie Joseph, is a Lake County sheriff's detective. His father, Rodd Joseph, is a Clearlake Police Department sergeant.

    The lawsuit says two other children have died from the water-borne bacteria at the hospital, in 1998 and in 1992, the newspaper reported.

    No traces of Legionella bacteria were found in the hospital's water supply, according to hospital officials.

    Ryland Joseph had a severely-weakened immune system -- he was in the hospital to be treated for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, an immunodeficiency disorder, the newspaper reported. He underwent chemotherapy prior to the marrow transplant from his two-year old sister, which weakened his immune system further.

    Both the California Department of Public Health and the hospital -- which declined comment, citing the lawsuit -- say they are investigating the child's death.

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