PHILADELPHIA – A patient has filed legal action against his physician, claiming that he was left uninformed he had tested positive for Hepatitis C for seven years, which he says later caused him permanent damage to his liver and kidneys.
Bartolo Ortiz of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 24 versus Ramesh Parchuri, M.D., also of Philadelphia.
Ortiz was a patient of Parchuri’s dating back to 2006, having regular check-ups, blood work and visits for minor ailments. During a blood test in April 2009, it was learned Ortiz’s blood was reactive for Hepatitis C antibodies, the suit says. However, he says he was not given any referrals for additional testing, referrals for other treatment, any treatment at all or information relating to Hepatitis C following that blood test.
And so it went for the next seven years, according to the lawsuit.
Then, in 2016, Ortiz was seen twice by Parchuri in March of that year, complaining of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and distension, the suit says. During subsequent follow-up visits in May and July 2016, Ortiz remained unaware of his diagnosis, the suit says.
During that time, the suit indicates his untreated Hepatitis C silently wreaked havoc on his body – causing him both kidney and liver damage, confirmed when Ortiz consulted a different physician at Clinical Nephrology Associates in the summer of 2016.
“Plaintiff was diagnosed with Hepatitis C-related cirrhosis in August 2016. Plaintiff did not know prior to August 2016 that he had cirrhosis secondary to untreated Hepatitis C. On Aug. 26, 2016, plaintiff was seen at Temple Health, where his diagnoses included cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease, Hepatitis C virus, hematuria and hypertension,” the suit states.
“On Sept. 22, 2016, plaintiff was seen at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Department of Hepatology, where it was noted that he had a “history” of Hepatitis C that was untreated and that he was listed for a simultaneous liver and kidney transplant (SLKT). Plaintiff’s condition was described as “decompensated liver disease 2/2 liver cirrhosis in setting of Chr Hep C” at the Sept. 22, 2016 visit.”
Ortiz was hospitalized at Albert Einstein Medical Center from Nov. 9 through Nov. 15, 2016, undergoing both a liver transplant secondary to HCV cirrhosis and a kidney transplant for chronic kidney disease during that time, the suit says.
Ortiz claims Parchuri’s substantive negligence over a seven-year period in failing to properly and/or thoroughly discuss, disclose, document, educate or inform plaintiff regarding his Hepatitis C condition led to his subsequent medical difficulties, surgeries and decreased quality of life.
For negligence, the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000.
The plaintiff is represented by Leonard K. Hill and Susan B. Ayres of Hill & Associates, in Philadelphia.
The defendant is represented by Michael O. Pitt and Jared M. Teich of O’Brien & Ryan, in Plymouth Meeting.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180701489
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org