Residents of a ManorCare nursing home in Minot, N.D., who contracted hepatitis C have dropped their lawsuit against the home and have refocused their claims solely against a local hospital instead.
The hepatitis C outbreak, one of the largest in U.S. history, began in 2013 and eventually included 48 residents at the nursing home. At first, the infected residents had blamed the nursing home, but today the residents dropped the claims in favor of a new suit against Trinity hospital. Trinity has denied responsibility for the outbreak, according to FoxNews.com.
Health officials have not identified the cause of the outbreak, but are investigating whether the infections “might have been associated with foot care, nail care or blood services provided to ManorCare residents” as well as alleged breaches in infection control policy by outpatient care service workers, the FoxNews article noted.
ManorCare has joined the suit, alleging that the false blame hurt the nursing home's business and lowered the sale value of the facility.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne viral infection that attacks the liver and can be fatal. It is most commonly spread by sharing needles or other injection tools, but can be spread by anything that transfers droplets of blood. Several of the drugs used to treat hepatitis are among the most expensive in the United States, some reaching out-of-pocket costs of $5,000 a year.