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U.S. News

New York Lawsuit: Hepatitis Patient Mistakenly Got HIV Medication

January 10, 2008

Liver transplant patient Gregory Rossini has filed suit against New York University Medical Center (NYUMC), claiming the hospital's pharmacy gave him medicine for HIV instead of hepatitis C. The $2 million lawsuit was filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court.

In court papers, Rossini said an NYUMC pharmacist made the error on Jan. 18, 2005, giving him the HIV drug Reyataz instead of the hepatitis C drug Rebetol.

Rossini said taking the wrong medicine caused his hepatitis to worsen. In addition to chills, fever, dizziness, and loss of weight and appetite, his eyes and skin turned yellow.

In the lawsuit, Rossini said he noticed that the pills he received were different from those that he usually got, but he did not challenge the pharmacist.

In a letter dated March 8, 2005, Dr. Max M. Cohen admitted Rossini had been given medication from a mislabeled bottle. Cohen's letter, appended to the lawsuit as an exhibit, said a "robotic malfunction" resulted in the pharmacists having to dispense medications manually. Rossini's lawyer, William Bird, said Wednesday he is unsure what Cohen meant by "robotic malfunction."

According to Bird, Rossini retired from NYUMC, where he worked in the real estate department. An NYUMC spokesperson said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Back to other news for January 2008

Adapted from:
Associated Press

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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