Exeter Hospital sues staffing company for role in hiring man responsible for hep C outbreak

Exeter (N.H.) Hospital is suing a staffing company for its alleged role in hiring the man who is responsible for a hepatitis C outbreak that infected 47 patients, including 33 at Exeter.

In the lawsuit, ExeterHospital claims the American HealthCare Services Association was negligent in its placement of David Kwiatkowski at ExeterHospital and that it should have investigated and reported his prior illegal drug diversion and use, according to a WMUR report.

Despite being fired numerous times, Mr. Kwiatkowski moved between jobs at 18 hospitals in seven states before being hired at Exeter Hospital in 2011. He was arrested the next year.

Since December 2013, Mr. Kwiatkowski has been serving a 39-year sentence for stealing painkillers — including fentanyl — and infecting dozens of patients with hepatitis C. The outbreak led to 33 civil suits filed against Exeter and various staffing agencies that placed Mr. Kwiatkowski.

AHSA connects healthcare organizations to staffing agencies around the U.S. According to Exeter's lawsuit, the company worked with Triage Staffing, which ultimately referred Mr. Kwiatkowski to Exeter Hospital.

"AHSA knew, or through the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, that Kwiatkowski was unfit for continued employment as a traveling cardiac catheterization technician," the lawsuit said, according to the report.

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