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A travelling medical technician that worked across six states is believed to be a serial infector of hepatitis C.
David Kwiatkowski infected about 30 people with the blood-borne liver-damaging disease over the past several years, authorities say. Kwiatkowski, 33, was allegedly addicted to anesthetic drugs and would inject himself with the needles at the lab. The technician then left the needles in place, where those same needles were used to inject other patients -- infecting them with hepatitis C.
One of the 30 people infected by the disease has now sued the health staffing agency and hospital that hired Kwiatkowski, reports CBS.
In the lawsuit, the infected patient alleges that Triage Staffing Inc. and Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire were negligent in hiring, employing, and supervising Kwiatkowski as a traveling technician. In a negligent employment action, the plaintiff would normally have to show that the employer was careless in hiring the employee and did not perform all the background and drug tests necessary for someone in that position.
For its part, Exeter Hospital says that it performed a criminal background check and required drug testing of Kwiatkowski prior to hiring. In addition, the hospital says that the technician received good references from prior employers. And while co-workers had raised concerns about Kwiatkowski's possible drug use, the hospital says that Kwiatkowski always had a plausible answer.
A judge will have the difficult task of weighing the steps the hospital did take to screen Kwiatkowski and determine if more steps should have been taken to prevent the serial infector from giving 30 people hepatitis C.