An elderly woman from Kansas recently claimed she was given Hepatitis C from a medical assistant-and she’s holding a hospital in Pittsburgh, PA responsible.
The woman (whose name is Linda Ficken) underwent a medical procedure in 2010 during which she claims a medical assistant infected her with Hepatitis C. She and her husband are suing a hospital in Pennsylvania, as well as two staffing agencies. Why were the agencies responsible?
In 2008, the medical assistant was let go from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) for allegedly stealing and abusing narcotic medication.
The medical assistant was accused of stealing the fentanyl, a painkiller most often used with cancer patients. However, police were never called.
“We noticed unusual behavior, caught him with a syringe, but did not witness him in the act of committing a crime," said a spokeswoman for UPMC.
Interestingly enough, this same medical assistant-the one now working in Kansas-is staring down court from a drug charge in New Hampshire. Charged with stealing drugs and tampering with needles, he has entered a plea of not guilty. This medical assistant also worked at several Maryland hospitals including Johns Hopkins Hospital who has sent letters out to hundreds of patients who may have also been infected.
This case just goes to show that medical responsibility is not just in the hands of doctors and nurses. Responsibility extends to the entire medical facility-and beyond. After all, a medical facility should help patients get better-not inflict them with new conditions.
That being so, how did this individual manage to get license in multiple states? Even when he was facing work-related drug charges? Even when he had been fired for a related incident?
Apparently, he was able to become licensed in different states and then hired out by employment agencies, without anyone so much as calling a single previous employer as a reference. If you have received a letter from a Maryland hospital, call the Snyder Litigation Team now for a free consultation.
The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Snyder and Snyder feel this case may have large implications, not just in the lives of the affected parties, but on a nationwide scale. Will the Ficken case change the way that medical staff records are kept (and communicated) around the country? For the sakes of patients’ lives, we certainly hope so. If you think you may have a similar case, call us now.