New York News: BUFFALO, VA Exonerated In Two Negligence Lawsuits

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford dismissed a negligence lawsuit seeking damages brought by plaintiff Lenray Harris against the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VA) in Buffalo.

The plaintiff claimed that she suffered emotional injuries following the VA’s disclosure that several of its nurses improperly administered insulin pens during the time period that Harris received treatment at the VA following knee replacement surgery. The plaintiff was given insulin for her diabetes and claimed that she feared that she had contracted a blood borne disease.

In her decision, Judge Wolford stated, “[p]laintiff cannot support a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.”

In a similar ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott recommended dismissal of a negligence lawsuit filed by plaintiff Archie Maxwell who claimed that the VA reused insulin pens and exposed Maxwell to HIV or Hepatitis B or C. The plaintiff was treated for diabetes while an inpatient at the VA from December 29, 2011, to January 9, 2012, and from August 9, 2012, to August 14, 2012. Maxwell alleged that in February 2013, he tested positive for Hepatitis B.

In his decision, Magistrate Judge Scott stated, “There is no record of any patient, including plaintiff, being infected from use of the insulin pens, thus plaintiff fails to prove actual exposure to HIV or Hepatitis C.”

From 2012 to 2013, the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Healthcare Inspections, investigated the use of insulin pens at the Buffalo VA. The OIG found no documented cases of transmitting blood borne pathogens related to the use of an insulin pen on multiple patients.

SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Friday, September 28, 2018.