REDLANDS, Calif., March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- McCuneWright and Morgan & Morgan, two nationally recognized law firms, filed a class action lawsuit today against Swedish Medical Center, located in Englewood, Colorado, alleging it negligently hired and inadequately supervised surgical technician, Rocky Allen, who, with a known intravenous drug addiction and a long history of employment terminations, put nearly 3,000 surgical patients at risk for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C by swapping needles intended for patients.
"Swedish Medical failed these patients when it hired Rocky Allen. The most cursory background investigation would have revealed that Allen was someone who should not have had access to surgical patients and the hospital's medication. He has a long history of this exact behavior, including a court martial in 2011 by the Navy for stealing a syringe containing fentanyl and a termination from a San Diego hospital in 2013 for needle swapping," said Joe Sauder of McCuneWright.
"As a result of Swedish Medical's failure to properly screen this employee during its hiring process, over 3,000 patients must live in fear that they have contracted a potentially deathly virus," said John Yanchunis, of Morgan & Morgan.
The class action lawsuit, filed on March 7, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, highlights the systemic failure by HCA-HealthONE, a defendant in this case, to properly screen potential employees and secure powerful pain management medications. This is not the first time that HCA-HealthONE has failed to protect patients from certain negligently hired employees with drug addictions. In 2009, a surgical technician at the Rose Medical Center infected 15 patients with hepatitis C due to needle swapping. She was subsequently sentenced to 30 years in prison and, at the time of sentencing, HCA-HealthONE stated it had upgraded the policing of medications in operating rooms. Despite this assurance, in 2014 a nurse at Swedish Medical was terminated for diverting medication for his own use. Rocky Allen arrived at Swedish Medical on the heels of these two incidents with his own publicly known troubled history involving drug addiction and needle swapping.
At the direction of the hospital, the suit's named plaintiffs have been and will continue to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
McCuneWright headquartered in Redlands, CA, represents plaintiffs in mass tort, complex and class action litigation. The Firm has played lead roles in major nationwide cases resulting in verdicts and settlements of over $400 million for its clients and the classes they represent. The Firm's attorneys have extensive experience in representing individuals, consumers and businesses in both mass torts and class action litigation. www.mccunewright.com
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SOURCE McCuneWright, LLP