Care technician attacked, burned by travel nurse settles for $5.7M

A patient care technician who was severely burned in an attack by a travel nurse last year at a New Jersey hospital has settled her Bergen County lawsuit for $5.7 million, Law360 reported Feb. 22. 

The woman, Magalie Cius, was attacked Feb. 7, 2022, in a break room at Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center.

An attorney for Ms. Cius, Bruce Nagel of Nagel Rice in Roseland, N.J., said Ms. Cius was attacked by Nicholas Pagano, who had been working on a contract basis at the medical center since November 2021, according to Law360

Investigators said Mr. Pagano threw an ignitable fluid on Ms. Cius, set her on fire and beat her with a wrench, according to Mr. Pagano then fled the hospital. He was found dead by apparent suicide on Feb. 8, 2022.

Hackensack Meridian said at the time that Mr. Pagano had undergone a full screening before beginning work at the hospital.

Ms. Cius was treated for severe burns to her face, upper body and hands. Mr. Nagel said Ms. Cius underwent surgery and continues to receive wound care and pain management, according to Law360.

The $5.7 million settlement, reached Jan. 25, resolves allegations against Rightsourcing, and SHC Services, doing business as Supplemental Health Care. Mr. Pagano worked at the hospital under a contract with Rightsourcing and SHC. The lawsuit alleges breach of duty and includes a per quod claim on behalf of Ms. Cius' husband, Charlemon Denis, according to Law360

Hackensack University Medical Center was withdrawn from the case after citing the workers' compensation bar to suit, according to Law360.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to our team member and her family as she continues to recover," the hospital said in a statement shared with Becker's. "The settlement was reached between our team member and the insurer of other defendants. Hackensack Meridian was voluntarily removed from the suit by our team member. We have been fully engaged with our team throughout this tragic episode and have worked tirelessly to arrive at a timely and beneficial resolution on her behalf."

The attorney for SHC, Benjamin Haglund of Day Pitney, and the attorney for Rightsourcing, Steven Backfisch of Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper in Westfield, N.J., did not return calls from Law360 about the case.

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