BRENTWOOD — A former traveling hospital technician who infected 32 patients at Exeter Hospital with hepatitis C wants to serve his prison term in his home state of Michigan.
David Kwiatkowski's desire to serve his 39-year federal prison term was cited by four hospital staffing agencies as one of the reasons why a lawsuit filed against them by Exeter Hospital should be transferred to U.S. District Court.
Exeter Hospital initially filed the lawsuit in Rockingham County Superior Court, alleging the four companies failed to prevent Kwiatkowski from continuing to work as a traveling cardiac catheterization technician.
“As a nationally registered traveling technician, Kwiatkowski worked at an estimated 19 hospitals in 8 states between 2003 and 2012, where he potentially could have infected thousands of patients with Hepatitis-C,” the lawsuit says.
Kwiatkowski, 34, was sentenced in December after pleading guilty to charges that he infected patients at Exeter Hospital through drug diversion. He spread hepatitis C to unwitting hospital patients by injecting himself with the painkiller fentanyl then allowed the dirty needles to be used by patients.
Lawyers for Exeter Hospital and the staffing agencies are sparring over whether state court has jurisdiction to hear the case, noting that the companies are from different states.
Kwiatkowski, who is also named in the lawsuit, said in an affidavit that he agreed with having the case moved to federal court.
“I consider the state of Michigan to be my real, true and permanent home to which I intend to return and reside in indefinitely following my incarceration,” Kwiatkowski said in a court affidavit.
Kwiatkowski likely won't have a choice on where he serves his sentence.
He is currently being held at the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton, a high-security facility in Bruceton Mills, W. Va., according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
But lawyers representing the staffing agencies said in court papers that Kwiatkowski will likely remain out of New Hampshire, and has made known to prison officials his preference to serve his sentence elsewhere.
“Kwiatkowski has requested that he be placed in a facility near his home state of Michigan, where he intends to return following his incarceration,” William Smart, an attorney for Triage Staffing, said in court papers.
The other hospital staffing agencies named in the lawsuit are: The American Registry of
Radiologic Technologists, Maxim Healthcare Services and American HealthCare Services Association.