Michelle Keahey Aug. 27, 2013, 7:01am

ORLEANS - A nurse has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a syringe device claiming that the device failed and caused her a needle-stick injury and exposure to contaminated blood.

Stacie Blanchard filed suit against Becton, Dickinson and Co. on July 22 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Aug. 13.

The incident occurred while Blanchard was employed as an infusion nurse with Carepoint Partners at its infusion center in Metairie. She was performing a standard blood draw utilizing a vacutainer syringe device, when the vacutainer and/or its shield failed resulting in a needle-stick to Blanchard. She claims she was exposed to contaminated blood as a result of the product failure.

Following the injury, Blanchard was hysterical and was transported to a nearby medical facility for immediate treatment and various medical testing and administration of various medications in an effort to prevent contraction of an infectious disease.

The defendant is accused of gross negligence and a reckless disregard for safety and at fault for having failed to adequately warned and instructed all potential persons exposed to the dangerous of the vacutainer and/or shield at issue.

The defendant is also accused of failing to adequately inspect and test the vacutainer and/or shield, failing to properly analyze and recall the product, failing to use reasonably available alternative safety designs and safety systems, failing to retro-fit and install reasonably available state-of-the-art accident prevention devices in the vacutainer and/or shield, breaching its duty and failing to take the necessary steps to prevent and eliminate the risks in the vacutainer and/or shield, and for failing to take all reasonably feasible and practical steps to reduce the chance of injury or death.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and anguish, fear of contraction of an infectious disease, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, interest, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

Blanchard is represented by Keith L. Magness of the Law Office of Keith L. Magness in Gretna and Jeffery J. Waltz of Tonry, Brinson & Glorioso in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:13-cv-05420

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