A health scare at a metro Denver hospital has now resulted in a class action lawsuit against the facility’s parent company.
Investigators say what happened inside an operating room at Swedish Hospital has put thousands of people at possible risk for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. Surgical technician Rocky Allen is accused of taking a syringe filled with Fentanyl and then putting another syringe in its place - fueling a statewide health scare.
California based lawyer Richard McCune is part of a team of lawyers behind a class action lawsuit against Hospital Corporation of America, the parent company that owns Swedish Hospital.
The suit alleges the company was "negligent in their hiring" of Allen...employing him despite past troubles including a 2011 court martial after stealing Fentanyl while in the Navy.
It also makes reference to a 2009 case at Rose Medical Center where a different surgical technician was involved in a similar crime. After she was caught the hospital also owned by HCA said it would upgrade its systems to prevent further abuse.
Lawyers want changes in the hiring process and some peace of mind for patients who wonder if one day they'll be sick.
"Those that have been effected by this need to be compensated so that is not some philosophical points, that is something that needs to happen," said McCune. "Your life's been put at risk. And you're not even going to know the answer for that for several months."
A hospital spokeswoman released this statement:
Our staff reacted swiftly and appropriately to report this incident to multiple authorities and to notify patients as no one had previously, even knowing it would result in intense publicity and lawsuits from plaintiff's attorneys seeking to take advantage of this unfortunate situation for their own monetary gain. We will defend ourselves vigorously.