Class action lawsuit filed against Exeter Hospital

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June 21, 2012, 6:33 pm

(NECN: Lauren Collins, Concord, NH) - Twenty patients so far went to Exeter Hospital in Exeter, NH to get better - instead, they wound up with a serious illness.

Now, another person who got hepatitis C after receiving treatment at Exeter Hospital is stepping forward as many of those infected have joined a class action lawsuit.

He stands stoic, arms behind his back.

"My wife’s upset. All my children, they’re kind of dumb founded."

He’s John Doe One. He’s 49 years old, married, a father and grandfather. He was treated for a heart attack at Exeter Hospital last August - and now he has hepatitis C.

"I’m pretty angry that (the hospital) had no procedures for any of this," he said.

He’s now part of a class action law suit against Exeter Hospital. Doe’s attorney, Peter McGrath, said, "It’s our position, according to the complaint, that the hospital negligently supervised its people and did not have in place the proper protection."

As many as 1,100 people were possibly exposed to the virus at Exeter Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab between October 2010 and May 25 of this year.

McGrath has 44 clients all affected to some degree by the outbreak.

"All 44 of them can’t be intimate with their spouses, because they can transmit it. Their children are very upset," he said.

It’s believed that an unnamed hospital employee, who is one of the 20 patents diagnosed by the state with hepatitis C so far, caused the outbreak by using drugs at the lab and contaminating syringes. That person has been off the job for more than a month.

"The doctors that have taken care of me there, they’re really good doctors," said John Doe One. "It’s just that one person that was a drug addict."

The suit claims the hospital was negligent not only for allowing the outbreak to happen, but also for handling the aftermath poorly.

"The hospital should have done more," says McGrath. "The state has done what they can with what they have."

Tags: new hampshire, Lauren Collins, Exeter, hepatitis c, Exeter Hospital, hepatitis C outbreak, hepatitis NH
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