CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire hospital that underwent a hepatitis C outbreak last year is suing the traveling technician charged with infecting the patients and the organizations that it says had a role in getting him to work there.
Exeter Hospital sued David Kwiatkowski and four organizations that it said should share in the responsibility to the 12 victims who it has paid undisclosed financial settlements to, The Portsmouth Herald reported.
The organizations include Maxim Healthcare, Inc., the American Registry of Radiological Technologists, American HealthCare Services Association, LLC and Triage Staffing, Inc.
Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty in August to 16 federal drug charges under an agreement that calls for him to serve 30 to 40 years in prison. He admitted stealing painkiller syringes from hospitals and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood.
Before he was hired at Exeter Hospital in 2011, Kwiatkowski worked as a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states, moving from job to job despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft.
Forty-six people in four states have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries. Thirty-two patients were infected in New Hampshire, seven in Maryland, six in Kansas and one in Pennsylvania. Kwiatkowski also worked in Michigan, New York, Arizona and Georgia.
“(Exeter) hospital has settled a number of civil claims and is seeking reimbursement from those whose actions, including failing to report David Kwiatkowski for improper conduct, enabled him to secure employment in” New Hampshire, Exeter said in a statement. “Such failures contributed significantly to the harm suffered by these patients.”
The organizations listed as defendants didn’t immediately return messages for comment.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)