A medical staffing company is being sued for negligent hiring in a class action lawsuit involving a lab technician who allegedly infected patients with hepatitis C, reports the Baltimore Sun.
While a negligent hiring case sounds like something that would belong on our Philadelphia Employment Law Blog, this particular case is actually more in line with a personal injury lawsuit.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the estate of a man who died after exposure to hepatitis C at UPMC Presbyterian, the man's surviving wife, and 15 others, accoridng to the Sun.
The lawsuit alleges that Columbia, Md.-based Maxim Staffing and UPMC knew that a medical technician, David Kwiatkowski, had stolen narcotics from UPMC, but failed to report his acts to patients and authorities. Kwiatkowski allegedly tainted syringes with hepatitis C, which led to patient infections.
Because UPMC and Maxim failed to report Kwiatkowski, he was subsequently hired at other hospitals where he allegedly infected even more patients, the lawsuit states.
A lawsuit against an employer for an employee's wrongful acts can fall under two theories of law. First of all, an employee acting within the scope of his job is deemed an agent of the employer. As such, his acts are often imputed to the employer.
There's also the negligent hiring cause of action.
Negligent hiring is a little different. It relates to acts that are performed outside the scope of an employee's job duties. In this case, for example, one theory could be that the employers didn't do their due diligence in hiring an employee who could be a danger to others.
So did the staffing agency act recklessly in placing him at UPMC? Did UPMC act recklessly in hiring him through the staffing agency?
Unless the parties reach a settlement, a court will likely have the final say.
- Search Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers (FindLaw)
- UPMC Sued for Hepatitis Infection Linked to Rogue Med Tech (FindLaw's Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Negligent Hiring and Training Suits (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Negligent Hiring: Criminals in Nursing Homes (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)