Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. of Pennsylvania and The Bell Law Firm, PLLC of West Virginia have joined with Feller & Wendt, LLC of Utah to pursue a lawsuit against Elet Neilson, Davis Hospital & Medical Center, and McKay-Dee Hospital for those who were exposed to and/or contracted hepatitis C from Elet Neilson, a nurse who worked at both hospitals. On 16 November 2015, Feller & Wendt, LLC of Utah filed a Statutory Notice of Intent to Commence Action pursuant to Utah Code § 78B-3-412, which is the procedural first step before an actual lawsuit may be filed.
In early November, McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah sent letters out to 4,800 patients who may have been exposed during Neilson’s employment at the hospital. Just last week, Davis Hospital & Medical Center in Layton, Utah also sent letters out to 2,800 patients who may have been exposed during her employment there.
Elet Neilson became a registered nurse in 2002. In her position as a nurse, Neilson was given access to hospital medications, including powerful pain narcotics, as part of her job duties.
From June 2011 to April 2013, Neilson was employed as a nurse at Davis Hospital & Medical Center. While employed at Davis Hospital & Medical Center, Neilson would steal intravenous Benadryl from an automated dispensing machine to use for herself. In order to do this, Neilson would forge the name of a patient being cared for at the facility, immediately cancel the transactions, then keep and use the Benadryl for herself. After being caught diverting patient medication, Neilson ultimately admitted taking the drugs for her own use without authorization. On 29 October 2013, the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) issued a Stipulation and Order (DOPL 2013-479) publicly reprimanding Neilson’s Nursing License and imposing a $500.00 fine, $400.00 of which was suspended by DOPL.
Despite her past history, Neilson was then hired as a registered nurse in the emergency department by McKay-Dee Hospital, located only a few miles from Davis Hospital & Medical Center. At the time Neilson was hired, hospital administrators at McKay-Dee should have known of Neilson’s history of diverting patient medication. The administrators at McKay-Dee failed to properly investigate Neilson during her employment hiring process and failed to properly monitor the dispensing of patient medication within the hospital. Neilson worked at McKay-Dee Hospital from June 2013 to November 2014. In November 2014, after admitting to diverting patient medications, including Dilaudid and Morphine, while employed at McKay-Dee Hospital, Neilson was terminated from her employment. On 10 December 2014, the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) issued a Stipulation and Order (DOPL 2014-673) revoking Neilson’s Nursing License. However, the Occupational and Professional Licensing Stipulation and Order (DOPL 2014-673) provides that Neilson’s revocation may be lifted after a period of five (5) years.
As a result of the policy system failures at both Davis Hospital & Medical Center and McKay-Dee Hospital, more than 7,000 patients with whom Neilson came into contact in her position as an emergency room nurse are at risk of having contracted hepatitis C.
Although the Ogden Police Department received a report of a theft of drugs from McKay-Dee Hospital on 25 November 2014, no charges were filed until 23 January 2015.
Federal researchers estimate that 100,000 health care workers in the United States are addicts. A recent study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that nearly 30,000 people may have been exposed to hepatitis C over the past decade by infected hospital workers using improperly diverted narcotic pain medication intended for patients.
It is unknown at this time why Davis Hospital & Medical Center waited approximately two (2) years before notifying its patients and the general public about this medical crisis. It is likewise puzzling why McKay-Dee Hospital waited one year from the date Neilson was terminated before notifying its patients and the general public about this medical crisis.
If you received a letter from either one these hospitals, please visit www.hepatitisclawsuit.com today for a free preliminary consultation. Our experienced litigation team has helped others who were exposed to Hepatitis C under similar circumstances in the past, including clients who were diagnosed with the disease as a result of the “serial infector,” David Kwiatkowski. Call us today with questions at 866-586-1910.