Four years after Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire was linked to a deadly hepatitis C virus outbreak (HCV), the facility has reached an out-of-court settlement with its medical staffing agency, which hired a known injection drug user for a medical technician job at the hospital’s radiology department, Seacoastonline reports.
Exeter Hospital recently sought compensation from the American HealthCare Services Association (AHSA), a hospital vendor management association, for settlements reached with 188 former hospital patients who tested negative for hepatitis C in the aftermath of the outbreak but alleged “diverse physical and emotional injuries” as a result of the scare.
According to court filings, the hospital claimed that AHSA did not properly monitor people hired by its contracting partner, Triage Staffing Agency, which resulted in the hospital employing David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician with a long disciplinary record of drug use on the job. Kwiatkowski went on to infect 46 people with hepatitis C across four states.
Now that a settlement has been reached between the hospital and the AHSA, the lawsuit is expected to conclude within 60 days. However, the hospital’s negligence lawsuit against the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, another staffing agency, and lawsuits against Triage Staffing and Kwiatkowski are ongoing.
In December 2013, Kwiatkowski was sentenced to 39 years in prison for his role in the HCV outbreak. So far, 33 lawsuits have been filed against Exeter Hospital for its role in the 2012 health scare, most of which have been settled.