Virus Transmitted Due to Substandard Sterilization Techniques

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on May 5, 2020

Hepatology Expert WitnessThis case involves transmission of hepatitis C between patients at a medical office. The defendant allegedly failed to undertake proper sterilization techniques, using rusted equipment and re-using needles between patients. The plaintiff in this case underwent genetic testing which reported that the source of the virus was tied to the clinic in question. The defense argued that there is a treatment that can cure the disease over a period of time, however the plaintiff contended that, while the disease may be undetectable, the plaintiff will still suffer from the long-term chronic infection. This case is located in the state of Louisiana.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please discuss your background working with patients who have Hepatitis C.
  • 2. Have you ever served as an expert witness on a case similar to the one described above? If so, please explain.
  • 3. Please tell us why you’re qualified to serve as an expert reviewer of this case.

Expert Witness Response E-009925

I have done research with hepatitis C, basic research on the virus , and the interferon response. I was a co-investigator in a large clinical trial. My role was in the genetic and molecular biology aspects of the treatment. There are new drugs on the market that appear to cure hepatitis C infection after a year of treatment. These are very expensive. If the virus is not detectable over a six month period, the patient is considered cured. However, there is always the odd chance that the virus is latent somewhere in the body and can re-occur. I do not believe that one can be 100% certain of a cure. This is probably true of many viruses other than hepatitis C. In the case of patients treated with interferon/ribavirin complex, patients may appear cured, but a small percentage do relapse. I do not think there is sufficient evidence with the newer medications to say there is a 100% cure. I have over 200 publications including one book on virology.

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