Posted on October 4, 2005

AG: Hepatitis Case Probably Won’t Bring Justice

TheOmahaChannel, Oct. 4

FREMONT, Neb. — The first civil trial is under way in Fremont in one of the nation’s largest hepatitis C outbreaks, but the state attorney general said Monday that the doctor involved will likely never be brought to justice.

A Fremont man who contracted the disease is suing the Cancer Clinic, a nurse and the doctor at the center of the case. Most of the patients who filed malpractice lawsuits settled their cases out of court. For Ridder, a jury will determine how much money he’ll get for his emotional and physical injuries.

Robert Ridder contracted hepatitis C while undergoing treatment for cancer at the Fremont Cancer Clinic. In 2002, an investigation linked his case and 98 others to improper infection control procedures at the clinic.

Ridder’s suit names Dr. Tahir Javed and his nurse, Linda Prochaska. Javed has returned to his native Pakistan and closed the clinic.

“It’s a sad case,” said Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning.

Bruning said Prochaska used the same saline bags and syringes on different patients. Her license was suspended last year.

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While Javed’s Nebraska medical license has been revoked, he remains a regional minister of health in Pakistan.

About 80 cases against Javed have been settled. It’s possible that the rest could go to trial.

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