Initial Details on the Miramichi Forceps Class Action
- There are at least 2,497 class members.
- The proposed class is defined to include all persons who were patients at the colposcopy clinic between May 1999 and May 24, 2013 and who received a notice from Horizon Health Network offering the option to have a blood test for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
- Disinfection is a process that kills 99.9% of life forms on medical equipment. It has been an accepted and adopted practice in North America to sterilize medical equipment following all colposcopy procedures for 50 years. Sterilization is a process that uses heat and pressure or chemicals to eliminate all life forms on medical equipment.
- Plaintiffs are pleading negligence, including failure to sterilize forceps when the Hospital knew or ought to have known to sterilize; providing improper or no training to and supervision of employees in sterilization procedures or else hiring and employing competent staff; and having no written procedure in place for sterilization of the forceps and ensuring that, if there was a policy, it was read and understood by staff.
- Plaintiffs say that the defendant intentionally breached the confidentiality of medical information by sending registered letters which identified patients as exposed to potential infection.
- The defendant waited nearly three months after discovering the error before contacting class members.
- It is unclear how and why the 14 year-long error occurred. The length of time suggests systematic problems with quality care at the Hospital.