DERBY, CT – A Supreme Court judge has upheld class action status on a lawsuit against Griffin Hospital and Griffin Health Services for the use of multi-dose insulin pens.
The lawsuit alleges that the pens, which are intended for one patient, were used by medical staff on multiple patients. The misuse of pens in the hospital was caused by institutional deficiencies, including a lack of proper procedures and training, according to the lawsuit.
Griffin Health Services held a press conference on insulin pen abuse in 2014.
The pens are for use on a single patient only. The needles for the devices are single-use, but backflow of blood or skin cells can flow back into the pen and potentially infect another person, Griffin’s 2014 statement said.
According to a press release from the hospital, around 3,100 hospital patients ordered insulin pens between September 1, 2008 and May 7, 2014. The hospital notified patients by mail and offered screening for HIV and hepatitis B and C.
At the time, hospital officials said the risk of disease transmission is considered minimal.
The lawsuit was originally filed by Anthony Diaz, Bruce Sypniewski and Daiy Gmitter. They are represented by lawyers Ernie Teitell and Marco Allocca with Silver Golub & Teitell LLP.
According to a statement by Silver Golub & Teitell, notification of potential members of the class action is expected to be in the spring or summer of 2021 after the court’s approval.
Griffin Hospital declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.
“Griffin has been open and transparent about events related to previous insulin pen use since the hospital volunteered in 2014,” said Todd Liu, Griffin’s vice president of responsible care and general counsel, in a statement. “Griffin’s first priority was to ensure that potentially exposed individuals could be notified, safe, and tested, which Griffin initiated and did at his expense. Griffin voluntarily disclosed what happened in his letter to potentially exposed individuals.”
Supreme Court Justice Linda Lager defined potential members of the class action as: