Lawsuits filed in hepatitis C case

Jun 8, 2014
Crime
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Lawsuits filed in hepatitis C case

Four lawsuits stemming from a series of hepatitis C infections allegedly caused by a contract medical technician working at Hays Medical Center have been filed in Ellis County District Court.

All four lawsuits were filed May 23 on behalf of Thomas D. Walters, a rural Ellis County resident; Linda Ficken, Andover; Wanda J. Braun, Russell; and Ronnie D. Murphy and Connie E. McNeal, co-executors of the Eleanor Murphy estate.

Defendants are Hays Medical Center and Medical Solutions, an Omaha-based medical staffing firm. The lawsuits claim negligence on the part of both HaysMed and Medical Solutions.

Medical Solutions is the staffing agency that placed David Kwiatkowski at HaysMed for nearly four months beginning May 24, 2010.

David Kwiatkowski is serving 39 years in prison for infecting patients with hepatitis C.

David Kwiatkowski is serving 39 years in prison for infecting patients with hepatitis C.

Kwiatkowski, who worked at 18 hospitals in seven states, was sentenced in December to 39 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Since his arrest in July 2012, 47 people in four states — six of them HaysMed patients — have been diagnosed with a strain of hepatitis C identical to that affecting Kwiatkowski. He tested positive for hepatitis C in June 2010 in Kansas.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne viral infection that can cause liver damage and chronic health problems.

Kwiatkowski allegedly caused the infections by using syringes intended for patients and then refilling and replacing them for patient use.

Neither company has filed a response to the lawsuits.

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