It turns out that the Utah hospitals where Elet Neilson was employed made promises they couldn't keep about their clarity with potential hepatitis C victims. One woman, who visited the emergency room in November of 2014, was told by the hospital that she would hear back from them within a week of her November 2015 hep C test. When she spoke to someone else who had received negative results within a week of being tested, she panicked and called the hospital. She was told she had to come in to the hospital to speak to a physician, but she refused to get off the phone without being told her results. Only then was she told that she tested positive for hepatitis C. She was pregnant and terrified.
To date, this victim is one of more than 160 people who have pending lawsuits against either McKay-Dee Hospital or Davis Hospital in Utah. At this point, several of our clients have tested positive for hepatitis C and all of them were patients at McKay-Dee.
What's worse is that when the young mother-to-be questioned hospital administrators during a meeting about her infection, a lot of her questions went unanswered. She said that it seemed like staff members were deflecting blame, almost like they were annoyed with her barrage of questions. She also said that the hospital refused to pay for testing for her husband and unborn child, being told that their chances of contracting the virus were slim.
Because of the their tremendous malpractice experience, Pennsylvania law firm Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. has teamed up with the Utah-based Feller & Wendt and the West Virginia firm, Bell Law Firm, to help those affected by this display of professional negligence. Attorneys at these firms are alleging that each hospital failed to report Neilson's actions, failed to fire Ms. Neilson in a timely fashion, and failed to promptly notify patients that they had been subjected to potentially contaminated medical instruments.
Douglas Olcott, attorney for Dallas W. Hartman, P.C., says this is the second case his firm has litigated in which a healthcare professional was accused of infecting patients with hepatitis C. The firm filed lawsuits in the case of David Kwiatkowski, a traveling radiologic technician who infected thirty people with hep C in various states. In 2013, Kwiatkowski was sentenced to thirty-nine years in federal prison after he pled guilty to seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of obtaining controlled substances.
Olcott says that while there is still much to learn about the Utah case, he believes the two occurrences are similar in nature. Kwiatkowski was infecting patients by using stolen syringes to inject himself with Fentanyl before filling them back up with saline and replacing them for use in medical procedures. Neilson is accused of similar crimes.
Olcott said two lawsuits were filed in connection with Kwiatkowski by Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. One lawsuit was filed for a handful of clients who tested positive and another suit for those who were exposed but did not become infected by the disease. He said those who weren't infected were part of the litigation because although they did not contract the disease, they suffered extreme emotional distress by being exposed to what was otherwise supposed to be a safe environment, in addition to having to undergo additional medical testing to be tested for hepatitis C, and then waiting, months in some cases, for the results.
Click here to read the full article in the Salt Lake Tribune Hepatitis c investigation continues