Owner of Meadowlands hospital sued after HIV scare at separate facility
A real estate developer and medical executive is being personally sued by a patient of a surgery center where state health officials said thousands of people were potentially exposed to viruses such as HIV and hepatitis.
The lawsuit filed Monday in Superior Court in Hackensack is at least the second to target HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, which is owned by Yan Moshe, whose portfolio includes Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus. The hospital, which previously went by the name Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, was not faulted in the state Department of Health investigation in December, which found that the Saddle Brook facility failed to follow cleaning and sterilization procedures.
The facility is recommending blood testing to the 3,700 patients who received treatment there between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7, 2018, when the state ordered the facility to temporarily shut down. HealthPlus is paying for any testing done at LabCorp or at Hudson Regional Hospital.
The center has blamed the lapses on two fired employees. As part of a corrective plan, HealthPlus must conduct quarterly infection control audits and sterilization audits every six months.
So far, at least one patient has tested positive for hepatitis, but HealthPlus attorney Mark Manigan said preliminary results suggest a pre-existing condition of chronic hepatitis. Health officials say the risk for actual infection is low.
Last week, a Passaic County woman who had received treatment at the facility joined her husband in suing the center. The lawsuit filed by of the Fort Lee firm Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi seeks to represent all patients who may have been affected.
On Monday, another woman also filed suit, charging the facility with negligence, battery, and malice. The lawsuit filed by Rochelle Park attorney Michael J. Epstein also seeks class-action status on behalf of all patients and their spouses or sexual partners.
The lawsuit also names administrator Betty McCabe as a defendant.
The center's nursing director resigned a day before the facility was closed in September.