Society

Lawsuit: Brooklyn Hospital Falsely Diagnosed Patients With HIV

| by Emily Smith

The Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn allegedly botched lab work that resulted in patients incorrectly being told they were HIV positive, according to a lawsuit filed by an ill-treated employee.

Lab associate Lili Hutchinson, 51, alleged that after notifying the inspector general in 2002 that much of the lab staff were unfit for their jobs, the hospital staff made her life miserable. Hutchinson was transferred to another lab, denied training and promotion and even attacked.

“We intend to pursue all of her rights and remedies to the fullest extent permissible under the law,” Hutchinson’s lawyer, Thomas Ricotta, said. “No hospital or health care provider should take action to punish employees who seek to protect the public."

When asked to comment, the hospital declined and reported that it had just learned of the lawsuit.

The same hospital was thrust in the national media in 2008 when a patient died on the facility’s floor. Several employees were charged after it was discovered they had attempted to cover it up.

The hospital’s lab was also cited with “quality assurance issues”.

Despite the facility’s history and Hutchinson’s claim, the city’s Health and Hospital Corporation has claimed that the lab complies with all standards and protocols.

“The people of Brooklyn can be confident that … the hospital's laboratory complies with all relevant standards and protocols,” the HHC reported.

Sources: Newser, Gothamist