DENVER (CBS4) – A lawsuit filed Monday in the Kristen Parker case accuses an anesthesiologist with negligence that resulted in four patients being infected with hepatitis C. The lawsuit claims the doctor was at one time a drug addict himself.
Parker, a former Rose Medical Center operating room technician, switched her contaminated needles for pain killers in order to feed her addiction.
The lawsuit names Dr. Herbert Chado, claiming he filled syringes with fentanyl for use during surgery, then left them unattended where Parker was able to steal them.
Jim Leventhal is representing 15 of the 21 patients who were infected with hepatitis C from Parker’s dirty needles.
“It’s in violation of both Colorado and federal laws which require that narcotics be secured and monitored,” Leventhal said.
The drugs were stored in an automated narcotic drug dispensary. Once removed they are supposed to be moved to a cart in the operating room. There is a lock for the drawers and a lock box on the top, but the fentanyl Parker stole was apparently not secured by some 16 anesthesiologists.
“They would leave it unattended for 45, 50 minutes an hour, during which time Kristen Parker had access and stole the narcotics,” Leventhal said.
The lawsuit and other documents just filed names Chado with leaving narcotics unattended that resulted in four patients being infected with hepatitis C. State documents show Chado was addicted to narcotics himself, surrendering his license in 1994. He admitted he excessively used the pain killing drug Sufenta. He underwent treatment and later regained his license.
By phone CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger spoke with a plaintiff in the case whose wife was infected with hepatitis C.
“Dr. Chado himself was a drug addict and should have known more than anybody else that when you leave these kinds of medicines out unattended in a hospital environment you are creating temptation,” the plaintiff said.
Neither Chado nor his attorney returned calls from CBS4. But in court documents Chado has denied any allegations of negligence.
Other civil lawsuits have also named Rose Medical Center as a defendant.
Parker is serving a 30-year prison sentence.