BECKLEY, W.Va (WOAY) – Back in 2014, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources lead an investigation into the Raleigh Heart Clinic after a patient tested positive for Hepatitis C following a stress test. Five years later, 124 patients reached a settlement on Friday with the clinic and its main cardiologist, Dr. Thair Barghouthi.
Patients from the Raleigh Heart Clinic settled their class-action lawsuit against the clinic and cardiologist Dr. Thair Barghouthi for an undisclosed amount.
“We settled the case with Dr. Barghouthi and the Raleigh Heart Clinic and that was approved by the mass litigation panel on Friday, August 2nd,” Amanda Taylor, an associate with Stephen P. New Attorney at Law, said. “We are moving forward with litigation against Cardinal Health which is the nuclear pharmacy that provided the medication to the Raleigh Heart Clinic. Those are set to go to trial in front of the mass litigation panel in Spring of next year if we’re not able to resolve them before that.”
All 124 patients contracted cases of Hepatitis B or C and all received injections from the clinic. The same goes for the 78 who still have to see their day in court with Cardinal Health. Although some have died because of complications, their families are still fighting.
“Their estates are permitted through a representative to carry on their case and many of them have chosen to do so,” Taylor said.
While the law offices of Stephen New are representing the victims, Robert Dunlap and Associates are now representing Barghouthi in his cross-claims with Cardinal Health as the pharmacy says Barghouthi violated their contract. Despite the settlement and the ongoing litigation that still has to happen, Barghouthi’s representatives say personal responsibility has not been proven or established.
“Because people will hear that some plaintiffs received a settlement with some of the co-defendants and they think that responsibility’s already been established when, in reality, there are lots of reasons why people settle cases,” Dunlap said. “It’s just important to know that our client is simply a person that is still litigating this matter.”
However, those representing the patients are still holding their position on Barghouthi’s responsibility.
“We have always believed that our clients were exposed through the negligence of the Raleigh Heart Clinic, Dr. Barghouthi, and Cardinal Health to these infectious diseases and we maintain that position,” Taylor said.
Thousands of letters were sent out initially to people who had been tested but the 124 who settled tested positive came forward to pursue legal action. For those who did not come forward, they can no longer do so because the statute of limitations ran out after two years.