Court hearing over Atrium Health potential virus exposures unscheduled

Atrium Health’s virtual court hearing Thursday to fight a lawsuit filed by a patient has been removed from the docket. It would have been the first time they’d be in court over the potential exposures to dangerous diseases that happened during urology procedures at one of their offices.

Channel 9’s Hannah Goetz first started investigating Atrium Health Urology Kenilworth in November, which was when Atrium started notifying affected patients. A patient contacted Channel 9 saying he had a urology procedure the year before, but then he got a message from Atrium Health saying he was potentially exposed to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.

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Now, Goetz has learned Atrium will be pushing for a lawsuit filed by a patient to be dismissed.

The lawsuit was filed in November, which was around the same time Goetz started investigating the practice for potential exposures of HIV and hepatitis to its patients. Goetz has since heard from more than 100 people who say they were notified of a potential exposure by the Kenilworth office. Of the 100, three patients told her they’ve received a positive test result.

Several patients have expressed frustrations about a lack of answers to their questions, which include how the potential exposure happened. One of those patients filed a class-action lawsuit against Atrium related to these claims. Some of the other patients have also joined the suit.

The plaintiff claimed to have had a procedure done at Atrium Health urology in July 2022, but didn’t find out until three months later that she was potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis.

In January, Channel 9 spoke with one of the attorneys representing the patients.

“There are certain standards of medical care. And when people go to hospitals, they expect to receive medical care,” Blake Abott said. “Our goal is to hold them accountable to the standard of care that all patients deserve in these matters and and to do right by our clients as much as possible.”

The lawsuit claims dirty utensils were used during procedures and patients were “forced to live in uncertainty about their own health.”

“Every person in this in this litigation has certainly experienced something that we only hope not to have to experience,” Abbott said. “And so justice would just look like a full verdict, compensating those for their losses and what they’ve gone through in this matter.”

In February, Channel 9 reported Atrium Health responded to the suit with a motion to dismiss, saying, among other things, the lawsuit didn’t meet the requirements for pleading medical malpractice.

The latest filing revealed Atrium Health was supposed to be in court virtually to argue that motion on Thursday.

Officials were not able to say for when or if the hearing has been rescheduled.

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