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Health care contracting company sued for disease outbreak

When an accident happens at work, the employer usually takes responsibility. If a child gets hurt at school, the school district often takes some of the responsibility for approving the hiring of a certain teacher or installation of playground equipment. If a highway bridge falls and people are killed, not only is the construction company at fault, but so is the architect.

Therefore, it makes sense that a patient at a hospital who contracted hepatitis C from his caretaker would sue the medical worker's employer. Especially when it had been brought to management's attention that there were some concerns about the health care worker's behavior and credentials. Apparently he was known to also be quite a storyteller. H lied to coworkers about having cancer, his fiancé dying in a tragic accident and about playing baseball for the University of Michigan. It was years before the worker was finally fired for falsifying his time sheets.

Here's what happened: the contracted health care worker was working for a medical staffing company that places temporary health care providers in short assignments throughout the country. This particular employee was using hospital syringes to shoot up, and then using the same needles on his patients. The employee had hepatitis C and passed the disease onto his patients.

The victim is suing the man's employer for making "intentional misrepresentations" about the man's qualifications and employment records including negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision and negligent entrustment.

Michigan employs a strict statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. Claimants must also obtain an expert medical opinion confirming that medical malpractice actually occurred and that the injury or death was the result of negligence. To learn more about your rights and this area of law, please visit our Ann Arbor medical malpractice web page.

Source: fosters.com, "Medical staffing company in Nebraska sued in hepatitis C case," Jim Haddadin, July 24, 2012

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