hospital told wrong patients hiv

Lili Hutchison, a long-time worker at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, claimed that she had been discriminated against and treated poorly at her workplace after she blew the whistle on life-threatening botched up reports by the hospital's pathology lab. Hutchison alleged that the lab told the wrong patients that they had HIV even though they didn't - and told them they didn't have Hepatitis C when they did. 

Hospital Lab Negligence

Hutchison, 51, was working as a lab associate at Kings County Hospital Center. In 2002, she complained to the inspector general for the city's Health and Hospital Corporation about medical malpractice, foul paperwork, and gross negligence taking place in the hospital's labs. 

She claimed that untrained and unqualified staff was causing patient lives to be compromised based on false test results. She pursued the issue for the next three years and alerted the hospital's executive director Jean Leon and deputy executive director George Proctor to the grave errors. Hutchison filed a lawsuit on Nov. 4, claiming she has been facing retaliation by her superiors for bringing to light the deadly mistakes.

Hutchison alleges that when she blew the whistle on dangerous and negligent hospital practices, her pathology lab supervisor, Sajjad Ahmed, covered for the lab workers who had messed up the reports. She was also condemned continuously by superiors and co-workers alike, and one even threatened her with physical assault. 

Hutchison was repeatedly given bad evaluations and then transferred to the hematology lab, where her career growth was brought to a standstill despite having all the right certifications and 17 years of experience. In 2007, she was also denied a promotion to a lab technician, a higher-paying post. And even then, her warnings were not paid heed to, and no changes were made in the relevant departments. The misdiagnoses had led to patients not receiving timely care of severe diseases.

Hutchison's lawyer said that his client was constantly facing harassment and retaliation because she had spoken out against something affecting patient welfare. Her concern for public health was valid, as confirmed by the inspector general in 2008, who sent someone to interview witnesses and found that her allegations had weight.

In 2011, Hutchison finally notified the Department of Health about the violations taking place at the NYC hospital after a patient died due to non-reporting of changes in blood levels. The department then slapped violations on the hospital for disregard of quality assurance standards in the labs. Hutchison was sent home for two days without pay and given a work violation for the third time in retaliation.

She was scared that she would be treated unjustly after already having gone through years of torment at the hospital admin's hands, leading her to sue the hospital finally. 

The Legal Aspect

If you have experienced medical malpractice in NYC, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney who will help you fight for your rights and the rights of others in a court of law. Medical negligence is widespread in New York, with dozens of cases taking place every year. Finding a medical malpractice lawyer with the right experience can help you go a long way in ensuring that you and your loved ones get the compensation they deserve for medical malpractice. 

For a free review of your case, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online.


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