BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) A settlement was reached Friday for nearly a hundred patients who say they contracted Hepatitis from the Raleigh Heart Clinic in Beckley.
The agreement between the patients and Dr. Thair Barghouthi was finalized in front of a mass litigation panel in Charleston.
As part of the agreement, the dollar amount was kept confidential.
“No amount of money can compensate them for what they’ve been through, the people who have been harmed or passed away. But we’ve done everything we can do in the court system with Dr. Barghouthi,” said Stephen New, an attorney on the case.
New said some of his clients have passed away from complications of Hepatitis since the outbreak was first discovered by West Virginia health workers in 2015.
An attorney for Dr. Barghouthi, Leah-ann Clay, said her client denies any wrongdoing. “Dr. Barghouthi isn’t necessarily taking the position that the outbreak was a result of testing that occurred at his office.”
According to New, and another attorney on the case, Ben Salango, the settlement with Dr. Barghouthi is just the beginning of their quest for justice. They say the physician could not have exposed patients without help from Cardinal Health.
“It’s more than just the doctor,” explained Salango. “This is a case where Cardinal Health was actually providing material to the doctor. In addition to being negligent, as we will argue, it was a violation of West Virginia law. The resolution with Barghouthi is only the first part of this case.”
If a settlement is not reached, the case against Cardinal Health is expected to go to trial in May or June of 2020.
“Anytime you take on a giant corporation like Cardinal Health, it’s a battle, but it’s one we’re in for the long haul and we expect to win this,” added Salango.