Kyle Barnett Dec. 24, 2013, 1:06pm

GRETNA – A group of patients are suing a local hospital for allegedly putting a number of patients at risk by using improperly sanitized surgical equipment.

Jeremy Andrews, Jerry Melinda, Wanda Copeland, Cheryl Johnson and Winnifred Brown filed suit against Ochsner Clinic Foundation in the 24th Judicial District Court on Dec. 5.

The plaintiffs are suing Ochsner Clinic Foundation for exposing them to medical equipment that was allegedly improperly sterilized and could pose a harm of infection. Ochsner Clinic Foundation is alleged to have done endoscopic procedures on all of the plaintiffs and later sent them a letter notifying them that the tools used in those procedures may be contaminated. The plaintiffs claim they had to undergo testing for HIV, hepatitis B and C and a range of other infectious diseases after the potential exposure to deadly pathogens.

The defendant is accused of negligence.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, fear of contracting infectious diseases, need for medical monitoring, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of earnings.

The plaintiffs are represented by Ron Austin of Harvey-based Ron Austin & Associates LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division G Judge Robert A. Pitre.

Case no. 733-519.

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