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Woman to Sue Mayo Clinic for Transmitting Hepatitis C

The widow of a man who allegedly contracted Hepatitis C at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, is bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Clinic. The woman's husband had two liver transplants at the clinic, the first in 2006 and the second in 2008. According to the woman, her husband's tests show he did not have hepatitis C before his first transplant, but subsequent complications led to testing revealing the disease.

This lawsuit comes in the wake of an August announcement that at least three patients contacted Hepatitis C at the clinic due to the use of contaminated syringes by a radiology technologist infected with Hepatitis C. The former employee was alleged to have illegally obtained patients' painkillers and then reused syringes he had used to inject himself with drugs.

The radiology technologist was fired by the clinic and he has subsequently been criminally charged for fraudulently obtaining controlled substances.

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the three infected individuals has died from Hepatitis C, one died of unrelated causes, and another is still living. The woman bringing the current medical malpractice case believes her husband was not one of the three previously identified, but unnamed, patients.

A month after making the initial announcement, the clinic sent letters to more than 3,000 individual patients who may have come into contact with the former radiology technologist suggesting that they consider getting tested for Hepatitis C infection.

Since her husband's death, the woman bringing the medical malpractice claim has been forced to declare bankruptcy and sell her home. The amount of monetary damages being sought in the lawsuit has not yet been disclosed, but is most likely to be in the millions of dollars.

Source: The Florida Times-Union "Patient's Widow Sues Mayo Clinic Over Hepatitis C," Bridget Murphy 11/11/2010

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