Last week, Salem (Mass.) Hospital issued a warning letter to 450 endoscopy patients notifying them of a potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis due to incorrectly administered IVs. Now, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the hospital, Somerville, Mass.-based Mass General Brigham and 10 hospital employees, according to a Nov. 20 report from USA Today.
The eight-page complaint was filed on Nov. 17 on behalf of patient Melinda Cashman, who the suit claims was exposed to infection. Ms. Cashman is one of hundreds of patients potentially exposed between June 2021 and April 2023.
The suit cites negligence by the hospital and its employees and says Ms. Cashman suffered permanent injuries, anxiety, emotional distress and decreased quality of life due to the reported exposure.
Salem Hospital said in a statement that the infection risk is "extremely small" and so far, no infections have been reported.
All patients who were exposed have been notified and the hospital has set up a hotline for patient questions and concerns.
The infected patients "had to face the possibility of a life-changing condition because of the hospital's carelessness," Jonathan Sweet, Ms. Cashman's attorney, said in a statement. "Our client deserves to have someone take responsibility for years of negligence."
The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial.