Trial date set for accused 'serial infector'
CONCORD, N.H. — A traveling hospital technologist accused of stealing drugs and infecting patients with hepatitis C through contaminated syringes pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court on Monday.
David Kwiatkowski, whom prosecutors describe as a “serial infector,” was indicted last week on charges of tampering with a consumer product and illegally obtaining drugs.
Kwiatkowski said only “yes” when asked in court if he understood his rights. His trial was scheduled for the first week of February, although U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said it probably would take place later in the year.
Kacavas could not say how much federal prison time Kwiatkowski could get if convicted but said prosecutors will seek a substantial sentence. He said the investigation continues, and further charges against Kwiatkowski could not be ruled out.
Until May, Kwiatkowski worked as a cardiac technologist at Exeter Hospital, where 32 patients were diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries. Before that, he worked in 18 hospitals in seven states, moving from job to job despite having been fired twice over allegations of drug use and theft.
Kwiatkowski is believed to have infected several patients in the months he worked as a radiology technician at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in 2008. Ten patients filed a class-action lawsuit in Allegheny County in October against UPMC and the Maryland-based staffing company it used, claiming that they enabled Kwiatkowski to inject himself with narcotics-filled syringes and leave the needles –— filled with saline — to be used on other patients.
In Exeter, Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing fentanyl, injecting himself, then re-filling the tainted syringes with saline to be used on patients.
Trib Total Media contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Homeland Security orders new screening for Ebola
- Forensics support Ferguson police officer in shooting of unarmed black teen
- GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away
- Earth heads for record 2014
- High court will take case on gun ownership
- Texas: 2nd person tests positive for Ebola
- Typical Social Security beneficiary will get about $20 a month from COLA, figures show
- Scientists unravel genetics of height