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HealthPlus Surgery Center In NJ Faces Lawsuit For Exposing Nearly 3,800 To HIV, Hepatitis

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A former patient and her husband has filed a lawsuit against a surgery center in New Jersey whose poor sterilization practices may have exposed nearly 3,800 patients to bloodborne infections including HIV, hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

Lawsuit Filed Against HealthPlus Surgery Center

The patient, Lauren Marrero, and her husband, Julio, filed the class-action lawsuit in state Superior Court in Hackensack on Friday over allegations that HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook was guilty of "wanton misconduct — on a continuing basis" for exposing its patients to dangerous pathogens.

"The Defendant knew or should have known that the sterilization procedures at their facility were insufficient and posed a substantial risk of harm to the Plaintiffs and others similarly situated between January 1, 2018 and September 7, 2018," the lawsuit read.

Plaintiffs Seeking Compensatory Damages

Lauren had spinal epidural, a pain management procedure, under anesthesia at the center in April.

The plaintiffs claim the negligence of the center caused physical pain, distress, emotional anguish, fear, and anxiety among other things. They are seeking compensatory damages, interest, and attorney's fees.

Patient Tested Positive For Hepatitis C

The lawsuit was filed as the surgery center revealed that one of the 3,778 patients who were possibly exposed to dangerous infections tested positive for hepatitis C.

At a press conference, representatives of the HealthPlus Surgery Center said that only 186 of the patients possibly exposed to dangerous infection have been tested so far. Of those who tested, one tested positive for hepatitis C.

It isn't clear though if the patient's hepatitis C was a preexisting condition, or if the disease was contracted following exposure at HealthPlus.

Mark Manigan, the lawyer who represents the surgery center, said that the New Jersey Department of Health will handle the probe to determine what caused the patient to contract the infection.

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