Couple Gets $1.25 Million in Post-Colonoscopy Infection Judgment

January 6, 2013

HAIs in the News: Outpatient Surgery, January 2, 2013

Stephanie Wasek of Outpatient Surgery reports on an award of $750,000 to Robert Metzler, a man who contracted hepatitis C from a colonoscopy performed at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Metzler’s wife was also awarded $500,000.

“The evidence presented by the Metzlers lead me to find that the negligence of the Miami VAMC in not sanitizing the tubing of the endoscope used in Mr. Metzler’s colonoscopy probably caused Mr. Metzler to contract hepatitis C,” writes the judge. “I realize that the chances of acquiring hepatitis C under these circumstances is slight, but I find there is nothing to preclude Mr. Metzler from being one of those two persons in a trillion or billion who do get the virus.”

Mr. Metzler was among the 11,000 veterans who, according to an investigation conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, underwent colonoscopies in Florida, Tennessee and Georgia VA hospitals from 2004 through 2009 with equipment that might have been incorrectly cleaned.

Source: Outpatient Surgery

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