Recently, a woman from Kansas filed a lawsuit against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, alleging the hospital acted negligently. While the woman was never personally treated at the hospital, she contends the Pittsburgh hospital’s lack of action is partially to blame for a disease she contracted in a Kansas hospital. While medical malpractice lawsuits often address medical errors, this suit concerns the hospital’s failure to act.
The incident arose in 2008, when a medical technician working at the hospital in Pittsburgh was thought to have stolen and used narcotics. Despite the concerns, the hospital never reported the issue to law enforcement officers. The hospital has since issued a statement indicating those who made the decision not to contact the police believed there was insufficient evidence to move forward.
Consequently, the medical technician was able to get jobs in other hospitals around the country, including one in Kansas. In 2010, the woman who filed the lawsuit was treated at a hospital where the technician worked. According to the lawsuit, she contracted hepatitis C while being treated.
Charges are now pending against the technician for narcotics theft. He has pled not guilty to federal charges in New Hampshire, in which they allege he stole drugs and tampered with needles.
The lawsuit questions why the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center never informed police officers or any other government agency about the red flags associated with this medical technician. The suit also raises questions about the effectiveness of background checks currently in place for hospital employees.
For those who have been injured due to hospital negligence, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can ensure that just compensation is received.
Source: The Republic, “Kansas woman files hepatitis C lawsuit against Pittsburgh hospital, alleges negligence,” Kevin Begos, September 4, 2012.