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Employment Company Sued In Hepatitis C Outbreak At Exeter Hospital

By Bree Sison, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) - A Boston lawyer has filed a class action lawsuit in connection with the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Karen Twomey reports


David Kwiatkowski, a former medical technician at the hospital, was charged last week with federal drug crimes. Authorities say Kwiatkowski knew he had Hepatitis C and used dirty needles on his patients after injecting himself with stolen narcotics.

Read: Class Action Complaint (.pdf)

At least 30 Exeter patients tested positive for the same strain of Hepatitis C.

Kwiatkowski was contracted to the New Hampshire hospital by Triage Staffing Company, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska.

“Triage Staffing had a duty to the patients who were affected by this outbreak in New Hampshire, and other states, to make sure the people that it placed were thoroughly investigated,” attorney Domenic Paolini told WBZ-TV Wednesday.

Paolini is leading the civil suit against Triage.  The filing claims there were problems with Kwiatkowski’s employment record long before he was sent to Exeter.

Kwiatkowski also worked for Triage in Kansas, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Arizona.

“He was involved in at least one major drug theft and maybe another drug diversion scheme at another hospital before Exeter. This is something Triage should have found out about and should have investigated,” said Paolini.

The suit also claims Kwiatkowski is also a habitual liar who told previous co-workers that his fiancée died under tragic circumstances and that he suffered from cancer.

Kwiatkowski tested positive for Hepatitis-C before he started working at Exeter, something Paolini thinks shouldn’t have been missed during the hiring process.

“This was never reported to any state authorities and David just moved on,” said Paolini.

Meanwhile a criminal investigation is ongoing in the case.

Federal prosecutor John Kacavas says more charges could be filed and that nothing has been ruled out.

Authorities are now asking anyone who had surgery at the hospital, or was admitted to Exeter’s intensive care unit, between April 1, 2011 and May 25, 2012 to get tested. The expanded testing could screen as many as 6,000 people this weekend.

Paolini is also planning to file a lawsuit against Exeter Hospital.

WBZ was unable to reach Triage Staffing for comment.

For more information on the suit visit www.hepcvictimsnetwork.com.

You can follow Bree on Twitter @BreeSison.

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