TULSA - A Tulsa dentist accused of exposing thousands of patients to various blood-borne illnesses is now facing a class action lawsuit.
Dr. Scott Harrington is being sued by seven people, and, according to the suit, at least five of them contracted infectious diseases during treatment at his dental clinics.
SEE THE LAWSUIT (http://bit.ly/15E1Sh9)
One of the plaintiffs, who, along with her husband, is suing Harrington, told 2NEWS the last few months for them have been "difficult and annoying."
She says she visited Harrington's midtown office to have a wisdom tooth pulled.
The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry launched an investigation in March 2013 after one of Harrington's patients tested positive for hepatitis C.
State and local health officials then notified more than 7,000 patients of the Tulsa- and Owasso-area dentist. They were told they may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV due to unsanitary and improper sterilization practices at Harrington's clinics.
READ THE BOARD'S COMPLAINTS (http://bit.ly/HarringtonDOCS)
After months of testing, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 77 of the dentist's former patients have tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B and four for HIV.
On Tuesday, the class suit was filed against Harrington, his corporation and several pharmaceutical companies.
According to court documents, the plaintiffs, some of whom are couples, claim they were exposed to infectious diseases through the repeated use of Propofol vials.
Propofol is an anesthetic used in surgical procedures.
Despite receiving information that anesthesia personnel were reusing vials, the plaintiffs claim the drug makers continued to manufacture, market and sell multi-use vials, which could be contaminated and expose patients to communicable diseases.
The lawsuit reads in part that the makers, distributors and marketers of the vials, Hospira, Pharmaceutical Systems, and Southern Anesthesia were "willful, reckless, malicious and in total disregard to health and safety of the patients."
The suit alleges negligence on the part of Harrington, his practice and medical staff and that the drug makers are liable due to the defective multi-use vials.
The plaintiffs are seeking a judgment for damages in excess of $10,000.
2News reached out to the pharmaceutical companies named in the suit as well as attorneys for Harrington, but our calls were not returned or they declined to comment on the pending litigation.
Harrington is scheduled to appear before the state dentistry board Jan. 17 in Oklahoma City.
For more coverage on the allegations against Harrington and his practices, visit http://bit.ly/DrHarrington.
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