What do you do when the place you go for medical treatment causes a more dangerous personal injury?
That’s the question nearly 5,000 patients throughout Colorado, Arizona, and Washington are having to wrestle with after being told that they may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV when they underwent what was supposed to be routine surgery. For understandable reasons, many of these patients are considering legal action through personal injury claims.
Surgical Tech Causes Hepatitis Exposure
These patients spanning at least six reported hospitals all have one thing, or rather person in common: Rocky Allen, 28. Allen was a former surgical tech who is being accused of using needles meant for patients on himself. In doing so, he swapped out syringes full of the liquid painkiller fentanyl, a powerful operating-room narcotic, and put them back into rotation with a saline solution.
Allen’s addiction with fentanyl and propensity for surgical theft of it has history that goes back to his Army deployment in Afghanistan in 2011. The Denver Post reported Allen having been court-martialed later that year for stealing fentanyl while working as a surgical tech. The records pertaining to the theft would have been available to any hospital during any standard background process, which will affect their level of liability for personal injury.
Despite this, he still managed to work at six hospitals in close proximity to fentanyl. Court documents filed by federal prosecutors indicate that most of these institutions swiftly learned of Allen’s addiction. He was placed on administrative leave in a California hospital after it was discovered he hid syringes full of fentanyl, and was released from an Arizona hospital after being tested positive for the drug.
This long history of fentanyl theft and abuse is a leading facet of the case that patients are using in personal injury lawsuits.
If you have been injured due to negligence and are in need of a personal injury lawyer in Torrance or Los Angeles, please contact the Booth & Koskoff office nearest you for a free personal injury case evaluation.