Class-action lawsuit filed against Indiana hospital in response to failure to sterilize

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GOSHEN, Ind. (WTHR) A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Goshen Health after as many as 1,182 patients may have been exposed to disease by a failure to sterilize surgical instruments.

Goshen Hospital leaders said in a letter to patients that between April 1 and Sept. 30 a sterilization technician failed to complete one crucial step in the sterilizing process of surgical equipment.

Patients may have been exposed to Hep B, Hep C and HIV. The hospital said the risk of infection is low. It is offering free testing for patients to determine if they were infected.

The class-action suit officially names "Anonymous Healthcare Provider" as the collective defendant, WNDU reported. The patient who filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and others underwent surgery on June 24.

The suit alleges negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence and medical malpractice.

“When we are at our most vulnerable and in need of surgery, we place both our trust and our life in our hospital and its personnel," Attorney Walter J. Alvarez said in a statement. "In light of the shocking revelation ... Alvarez Law and the Pavlack law office of Indianapolis have, today, joined forces to bring justice to those affected and hold those responsible to account."

According to WNDU, some who underwent surgery during the designated time period may not have received a letter. There is no response yet as to why that may be. However, those individuals are included in the lawsuit class.

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