UPMC named in another lawsuit over hepatitis infection

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A lawsuit has been filed against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian in connection with a hepatitis infection allegedly connected to a radiology technician formerly employed by the hospital.

Thomas and Clara Walters, a Nebraska couple, filed the suit in the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. They claim UPMC should have notified police that the technician, David Kwiatkowski, was stealing fentanyl from a patient. The hospital fired Kwiatkowski, but never informed law enforcement or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, which could have revoked his credentials.

Kwiatkowski went on to work at a number of other medical facilities before being arrested by federal authorities in July for infecting 31 patients in a New Hampshire hospital with hepatitis in an attempt to steal fentanyl, according to the Post-Gazette. One of the facilities he worked at was Hays Medical Center in Kansas, where Thomas Walters was treated in 2010 before later discovering he had contracted the same strain of hepatitis as Kwiatkowski.

Also named in the suit were Maxim Staffing and Medical Solutions, employment agencies which placed Kwiatkowski at the medical facilities.

This is not the first suit related to Kwiatkowski and UPMC. Health Imaging previously reported on another Hays Medical Center patient, Linda Ficken, who also filed a lawsuit against UPMC after contracting hepatitis.