Another Plaintiff Comes Forward in Case of Medical Technician Accused of Infecting Patients with Hepatitis C

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Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy and Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman file another lawsuit against three companies that may have unnecessarily exposed thousands of patients in 8 states to hepatitis C. The lawsuit was filed in Pittsburgh today against UPMC Presbyterian, Maxim Staffing Solutions, Inc., and Medical Solutions, LLC for medical negligence on behalf of a couple from Kansas.

Case GD-12-018339 Today in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (PA), The lawe firm of Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy and Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman filed a civil action against UPMC Presbyterian, Maxim Staffing Solutions, Inc., and Medical Solutions, LLC, for negligence in the case of David Kwiatkowski, the medical technician who infected thousands of patients with hepatitis C. Plaintiffs Thomas D. Walters and Clara M. Walters, husband and wife, from rural Catherine, Ellis County, Kansas, allege that Thomas contracted hepatitis C while he was a patient at Hays Medical Center in Hays, Kansas at the same time that Kwiatkowski was employed there.

Specifically, the suit states that UPMC Presbyterian and Maxim Staffing Solutions, Inc. failed to take proper action when Kwiatkowski was found engaging in illicit behavior that could endanger patients. Further, it states that Medical Solutions, LLC failed to properly check the background of Kwiatkowski and failed to properly monitor his performance.
Click here to read the complaint:

"This is just the second of what could be hundreds or even thousands of people who were infected by Mr. Kwiatkowski, and the fact is, UPMC, Maxim Staffing Solutions, and Medical Solutions could have taken common sense actions that would have prevented these tragedies," said William R. Caroselli of the Pittsburgh-based law firm Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy. "Because of each company's reckless negligence, Thomas Walters and potentially thousands of patients across the country are paying the price. Those companies need to be held accountable."

According to news reports, "Kwiatkowski was a few weeks into a temporary job at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh in 2008 when a co-worker accused him of lifting a syringe containing an addictive painkiller from an operating room and sticking it down his pants. More syringes were found in his pockets and locker. A drug test showed he had fentanyl and other opiates in his system." [Associated Press, 8/27/12]

According to the complaint, Kwiatkowski was removed from the job at UPMC; however, UPMC did not report his behavior to law enforcement or any government agency. Maxim Staffing Solutions, the healthcare staffing agency that placed Kwiatkowski at UPMC, also failed to report the conduct.

Kwiatkowski was arrested in August in New Hampshire, "where he stands accused of infecting at least 31 Exeter Hospital patients with hepatitis C by stealing fentanyl syringes and replacing them with dirty ones tainted with his blood." [Associated Press, 8/27/12]

As a result of UPMC and Maxim Staffing Solutions' failure to report Kwiatkowski's behavior to law enforcement or any government agency in 2008 and Medical Solutions' failure to properly perform a background check or monitor his performance on the job, Kwiatkowski was able to continue working at hospitals all over the country, putting thousands of patients at risk for hepatitis C.

Following his departure from UPMC, Kwiatkowski worked as a radiology technician at ten hospitals in eight states between 2008 and 2012. The following is the list of hospitals in which he worked during that time:
-- Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, May 2008 to November 2008;
-- Southern Maryland Hospital, Clinton, Maryland, December 2008 to February 2009;
-- Maryvale Hospital, Phoenix, March to June 2009;
-- Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, July 2009 to January 2010;
-- Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore, January 2010 to March 2010;
-- Arizona Heart Hospital, Phoenix, March 2010 to April 2010;
-- Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, April 2010;
-- Hays Medical Center, Hays, Kansas, May 2010 to September 2010;
-- Houston Medical Center, Warner Robins, Georgia, October 2010 to March 2011;
-- Exeter Hospital, Exeter, New Hampshire, April 2011 to July 2012. [CNN, 7/27/12]

Plaintiff Thomas Walters tested positive for hepatitis C in November 2010 and again in August 2012, at which time he learned for the first time that his hepatitis C "closely related" to the hepatitis C of Kwiatkowski and the outbreak strain. Kwiatkowski was placed at Hays Medical Center by staffing agency Medical Solutions, LLC.

"These companies had the power to stop Mr. Kwiatkowski's horrifying spree before it spread as wide as it did, but they failed to take even the most common sense steps," said Lynn R. Johnson of the Kansas City-based law firm Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman. "There are thousands of people across the country who could be carrying the hepatitis C virus as we speak thanks to Mr. Kwiatkowski, and the reason the potential outbreak is so large is that these three companies failed to act. They need to answer for their negligence."
Thomas D. and Clara M. Walters are represented by:
Lynn R. Johnson
Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman
Kansas City, MO
(866) 484-8966

William R. Caroselli
Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy Pittsburgh, PA
(866) 466-5789

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