Northern Panhandle doctor, clinic hit with six hepatitis lawsuits

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 7, 2016

MOUNDSVILLE – Six lawsuits have been filed against Valley Pain Management after they claim the clinic was not sterile and they contracted Hepatitis B and C from the clinic.

Roland F. Chalifoux Jr. DO PLLC is doing business as Valley Pain Management. Dr. Roland F. Chalifoux Jr. was also named as a defendant in the suits.

Dean Greathouse and Jaime Greathouse; Heather Jackson; Texann Postlewait and Edward Postlewait; Honus Conner and Gail Conner; Darlene Dease; and Douglas Hester were patients of the pain clinic between 2010 and 2013, according to six complaints filed March 20 in Marshall Circuit Court.

Between Jan. 1, 2010, and Nov. 1, 2013, Chalifoux failed and/or refused to implement and utilize universal principles of proper sterile techniques in connection with his treatment of patients receiving injections at Valley Pain Management, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim they were not Hepatitis B or C positive prior to receiving medical treatment from the defendants.

On Oct. 22, 2013, Chalifoux performed an epidural with an epidurogram on Melissa Schmidt and within 24 hours of receiving the injection, she presented to Ohio Valley Medical Center on Oct. 23, 2013, and was diagnosed and treated for bacterial meningitis, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim as a result of Schmidt’s presentation at OVMC on Oct. 23, 2013, with signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis after having undergone an epidural steroid injection the day before, the West Virginia Department of Health/Bureau for Public Health was notified.

The Division of Infection Disease Epidemiology from the WVBPH was notified and an investigation was initiated immediately in collaboration with the Marshall County Health Department and the regional epidemiologist, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim Chalifoux did not practice sterile techniques and did not wear a mask when injecting or placing a catheter in the epidural space of his patients.

Because of the defendants’ actions, the plaintiffs were tested for diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV, according to the suits, and tested positive for Hepatitis B and C.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Scott S. Blass and Geoffrey C. Brown of Bordas & Bordas.

Last summer, three other patients filed lawsuits against Chalifoux and Valley Pain Management over alleged unsterile practices. Chalifoux, in turn, filed a lawsuit against the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources for publishing what he called a false news release. All four of those cases still are pending.

Marshall Circuit Court case numbers: 16-C-49, 16-C-50, 16-C-51, 16-C-52, 16-C-53, 16-C-54

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Organizations in this Story

Bordas & Bordas PLLC Marshall Circuit Court West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

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