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October 17, 2012 / Kendra Lounsberry

Class Action Filed by Victims of Hepatitis C Outbreak at New Hampshire Hospital

Over 160 victims of a Hepatitis C outbreak at New Hampshire-based Exeter Hospital have filed a class action suit against the hospital seeking damages.  The outbreak occurred after former Exeter Hospital medical technician David Kwiatkowski allegedly infected at least 31 Exeter Hospital patients with Hepatitis C.  Now, thousands of patients treated at hospitals that Kwiatkowski worked at, including Exeter Hospital, are being tested to see if they are infected.  At Exeter Hospital alone, 3,798 former patients and staff have been tested.

Hepatitis C is passed through blood transmission, often by sharing needles.  In this case, the Hepatitis C infections were transmitted after Kwiatkowski purportedly stole clean syringes full of painkillers for his own drug use and replaced them with dirty ones.  He was accused of this conduct as early as 2008, when a co-worker discovered Kwiatkowski was stealing syringes that were to be injected into patients and replacing them with dummies.   However, the police were never called, and Kwiatkowski has been roving from job to job over the last four years, working at ten hospitals in several states since then.  All of the hospitals that employed him claimed to have no knowledge of his disciplinary or drug history.

The Associated Press produced a detailed report of how Kwiatkowski was able to “slip through the cracks” without getting caught for so long.  Apparently, it was due to lack of regulations, his deceit, and poor communications.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a hospital or care providers, contact Khorrami, LLP for more information.

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