Hepatitis C Outbreak May Lead to Class Action Suit
An interesting case of medical malfeasance in New Hampshire is leading to a potential class action suit. It seems that a medical “professional” with a sketchy past named David Kwiatkowski as hired at the New Hampshire Exeter Hospital. Kwiatkowski, hired and placed from the Triage Staffing Inc., had been caught abusing medicines designed for his patients. Worse yet, he was reusing needles after using them on himself, thus potentially infecting them with his disease of Hepatitis C. Local residents are horrified and scared by this behavior, many of whom who attended the hospital are still uncertain whether or not they have been infected with the disease. As of right now 32 cases of Hep C have been confirmed and that number is probable to rise. Leading attorney for the pending class action suit described the situation:
McGrath said he hopes to present his request for class-action status at a hearing in November. He filed a complaint in Rockingham County Superior Court against the hospital in June and has since added the Nebraska-based Triage Staffing Inc., a health care company that hired and placed David Kwiatkowski at Exeter. “Even if the class-action is not certified, the situation we’re in is, we have 169 clients that are ready to file suit if necessary, and there will probably be a lot more,” McGrath said. Kwiatkowski is charged in federal court with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product. The case led to a nationwide investigation of hospitals where Kwiatkowski also worked and allegedly was caught more than once abusing medication intended for patients but was able to move on to another hospital in another state. – Union Leader
Determining where culpability lies is going to be an important factor in distributing responsibility for damages and to what extent. While it’s clear that Kwiatkowski is responsible for his own actions, his questionable past failed to raise significant flags for Triage Staffing and Exeter Hospital, both of whom failed to protect their patients from this perpetrator. Victims span a wide berth, from men and women to children and the elderly. This makes it trickier to narrow down the potential at-risk segment of the community.
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