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By Terry Carter

A Los Angeles surgeon has filed suit in federal court alleging that a manufacturer of surgical gowns falsely claims they protect against Ebola and other infectious diseases, the Associated Press reports.

According to the complaint filed against Kimberly-Clark Corp., tests showed that many of their MICROCOOL Breathable High Performance Surgical Gowns had “catastrophic” failures. The lawsuit alleges that the company knew for at least a year that the gowns lacked impermeability to blood and microbes.

Kimberly-Clark said in a statement that it cannot comment on pending litigation but that it stands behind its product’s safety.

The suit seeks $500 million in damages and was filed by Dr. Hrayr Shahinian, a surgeon and director of the Skull Base Institute. The complaint seeks a class action, and is alleging “fraud, false advertising, negligent misrepresentation and unfair business practices,” according to the AP.

Shahinian’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said, “We are aware of individuals that have contracted various diseases while wearing the gown, but we are not at liberty to disclose what those are at the present time.”

Avenatti said Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where two nurses recently contracted Ebola, has previously used the gowns but does not know whether those who caught Ebola wore them.