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Scary case of hospital negligence could make waves in Michigan

An unfortunate national news story could have significant effects in Michigan. According to reports, Michigan is one of the states in which a traveling lab technician suffering from Hepatitis C worked.

That traveling lab technician, who is a Michigan native, is accused of injecting himself with painkillers on the job, and then leaving the syringes for others to use. This deplorable behavior is bringing the issue of hospital negligence to the forefront.

The lab technician worked in seven other states, and has since been arrested for his actions. Some of the patients at the various locations have been tested and are confirmed to now have the same type of hepatitis as the lab tech.

While the criminal investigation continues, the civil lawsuits in connection to this case are beginning. This often occurs in cases of negligent medical care, and a class action suit filed recently maintains that this lab technician was negligently hired and retained by his staffing agency.

The staffing agency responsible for hiring the lab tech is refusing to comment on either the criminal charges or the civil lawsuit.

Hospitals are ultimately responsible for the conduct of their employees. However, they are not necessary responsible for the conduct of their contractors. Hospitals and staffing agencies must do a thorough background check of their applicants and make sure that once they are hired, they adhere to the highest degree of medical professionalism.

Clearly that was not the case for this lab technician.

Injured patients may be able to recover compensation for their medical bills and other consequences they suffer as a result of their exposure to Hepatitis C.

Source: CNN, "Hepatitis outbreak in New Hampshire strikes fear in 7 other states," Joe Sterling, Elizabeth Cohen and William Hudson, July 26, 2012

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