HealthPlus Surgery Center has been hit with a lawsuit that argues it is obligated to pay for the treatment and disease screening of thousands of former patients after they were exposed to hepatitis and HIV as a result of improper cleaning procedures.
HealthPlus Surgery Center, LLC has been hit with a proposed class action that argues the medical facility is obligated to pay for the treatment and disease screening of thousands of former patients after they were exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV as a result of improper cleaning procedures.
The suit comes in response to a state-ordered shutdown of the Saddle Brook, New Jersey ambulatory surgical center in September 2018 after the Department of Health issued a report that cited numerous safety violations, including “unacceptable sterilization practices.” The following December, the suit says, the defendant mailed out notices to approximately 3,700 former patients who visited the facility between January and September 2018 in which they were advised to get tested for diseases due to “lapses in infection control.”
According to the case, the defendant offered former patients a single free blood test, which the suit argues was “wholly inadequate” in ensuring their safety because the indicated diseases could remain dormant for some time. In other words, the case asserts, the results of a one-time blood test cannot be reliable since infected individuals may not test positive for months or years after exposure.
Further, the complaint says the Centers for Disease Control recommended that potentially infected individuals begin precautionary treatment for hepatitis B right away to prevent permanent liver damage—treatment that the suit says is not being offered by the defendant.
“This situation was created entirely by Defendant, which failed to follow proper procedures regarding the sterilization and cleaning of equipment and instruments and to properly supervise and train their employees in such procedures,” the case reads, arguing that the defendant’s alleged negligence makes them responsible for monitoring and treating class members more thoroughly.
The suit, which was recently removed from state to federal court in New Jersey, seeks to establish a court-supervised medical surveillance program that would provide proposed class members with periodic testing and appropriate treatment.