Patients file suit against Olean hospital, others

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

A New York law firm is representing three clients who have filed lawsuits against Olean General Hospital after contracting blood-borne diseases. In addition to the hospital, the lawsuits also name as defendants three different manufacturers of insulin pens and several large pharmaceutical companies. The complaints, which allege medical malpractice, were filed after the clients tested positive for Hepatitis. The hospital recently issued an announcement stating that there is a possibility that insulin pens were reused on different patients from November 2009 through January 2013. The hospital sent out information packets to approximately 1,900 patients providing notice of the possible occurrences.

Hospital officials have stated that at this time there is no proof that anyone was actually contaminated from a reused insulin pen. Rather, the announcement was prompted by reports from nurses who said that it is possible that such a contamination might occur.

In 2009, the FDA made it clear in a statement that insulin pens should not be reused. In addition to the claims filed against the hospitals for negligence, the complaints allege that the manufacturers of the insulin pens should have taken a more proactive approach in the warnings on their products.

When hospitals are negligent in their actions, patients may have the opportunity to file complaints against them for their negligence. After receiving the hospital’s information packet, almost 600 patients have been tested for HIV and Hepatitis. As more patients are tested, it is possible that more complaints will be filed. The attorney representing the plaintiffs has stated these lawsuits are only the beginning, and more are expected to be filed. An experienced medical malpractice attorney may help patients who are in a similar situation recover compensation to address the complications arising from blood-borne diseases they have contracted due to inadequate sterilization at a medical facility.

Source: WKBW News, “Lawsuits Filed Against Olean General Hospital, Insulin Pen Manufacturers,” Kyla Igoe, Feb. 27, 2013.

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