Hepatitis C Outbreak Claims Could Be Settled in Mediation
Friday, November, 13, 2015
The federal lawsuit in progress to settle claims pertaining to a hepatitis C outbreak in Minot, ND will soon go to mediation. The case has been in court for a year and a half, and recently two of the health care facilities involved recently spoke out about who is to blame. It is the largest hepatitis C outbreak in the United States in more than a decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Everyone involved has agreed to mediation, which surprised some since litigation has been ongoing now for so long.
Forty-eight of the claimants at the clinics contracted hepatitis C, a viral infection that can lead to liver damage, after living at the ManorCare nursing home. The exact cause is not publicly known, but there are suspicions it could be connected to the nail and foot care, or the blood services given to patients at the nursing home.
ManorCare denies culpability and believes the outbreak was due to an employee from Trinity Health’s outpatient lab who allegedly used previously used needles and failed to follow infection control protocol. ManorCare brought a lawsuit against the hospital, and after denying the claims, brought a countersuit seeking damages against ManorCare.
These lawsuits are tied to the lawsuits filed by two of the hepatitis C victims against ManorCare. There are an addition 20 lawsuits against ManorCare and Trinity at the state court level. Mediation was agreed upon after ManorCare asked that Trinity be compelled to release evidence of drug diversion, which could be tied to the infection outbreaks. The nursing home is accusing the hospital of tolerating and concealing years of drug diversion.