Thursday, July 18, 2013
McGrath Law Firm of Mount Pleasant is spearheading action against the Tri-County Spinal Care Center of North Charleston for the recent hepatitis B outbreak. In addition, the law firm has contacted the Department of Health and Environmental Control to demand
independent testing and treatment for all of the patients who received injections at the clinic since September of 2011.
According to Attorney Matthew E. Pecoy of the McGrath Law Firm’s Mount Pleasant office, “The process of further testing and treatment is very traumatic for the clinic’s former patients. We are demanding independent testing and treatment for these victims because they obviously do not want to return to the same clinic where they were infected and be subjected to more needles there. Tri-County Spinal Care Center is the last place that the victims would want to go for further medical treatment.”
DHEC has urged all patients who received injections at the clinic since September of 2011 to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV because “several lapses in infection control procedures” were identified at the facility.
Attorney Pecoy says that the patients who received an injection at the Tri-County Spinal Care Center since September of 2011 are considered victims and have grounds for legal action for their pain and suffering as they await test results.
Attorney Evan Smith, also of the McGrath Law Firm’s South Carolina office explained, “The testing is somewhat imperfect. Even if a patient tests negative, that victim is not necessarily in the clear because there is an incubation period for these diseases. Each victim has to wait six months to be retested. In the interim, these victims have to live their lives as if they have one of these horrible diseases. This affects nearly every aspect of their lives, ranging from not being able to be intimate with their spouses or
significant others to everyday menial things including not being able to share a razor or toothbrush for fear of exposing loved ones to these diseases.”
Attorney Smith said that there is no concrete scientific test to diagnose hepatitis B and even the second round of testing is not completely reliable.
According to DHEC, the hepatitis B virus is a liver disease that is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV. It is a very serious communicable disease that can cause liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Symptoms of acute hepatitis B can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and joint pain.
Attorney Smith said that McGrath Law Firm has spearheaded similar claims in other states and has been successful in obtaining independent treatment facilities for our clients. “Our firm was the lead counsel for the recent hepatitis B outbreak that swept the nation two years ago.”
The McGrath Law Firm has unique infectious disease experience. Attorney Pecoy has experience in complex products liability and class action litigation. The firm’s founder, Peter McGrath, is a former federal prosecutor. The McGrath Law Firm has offices in South Carolina and New Hampshire.