As the civil cases proceed concerning the hepatitis C outbreak in hospitals throughout the nation, including Pennsylvania, there is news regarding the criminal case that is pending in one of the states affected. According to a recent report, the man believed to be responsible for that outbreak, a travelling medical technician, is going to plead guilty to the charges against him. He will reportedly admit to diverting fentanyl from syringes by injecting himself and then filling the infected syringes with saline. These syringes were then used on patients at the various hospitals.
The man was charged with a total of 14 counts. Half of them were related to obtaining controlled substances by fraud and the other half for tampering with a consumer product. As a result of the plea agreement, he is expected to spend between 30 and 40 years behind bars.
While this turn of events will likely be received well by those affected by the man's admitted actions, it does nothing to address the harm inflicted. While treatments now available for hepatitis C can be effective, in other cases the condition can lead to serious medical issues and in the worst cases even death. Because it is possible that those who contracted the virus are facing pain and suffering and mounting medical bills, civil medical malpractice lawsuits have been filed as well. Those medical malpractice lawsuits, which have been filed throughout the nation, are at various stages, with some settlements having been reached.
There are many situations that could lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit being filed. Anyone who thinks that he or she may have experienced something constituting it would likely benefit from consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer.
Source: CNN, "Hospital tech accused of multi-state hepatitis outbreak to plead guilty," Holly Yan, Aug. 13, 2013