Lawsuits Filed Against Dentist; Incarcerated Juveniles Possibly - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Lawsuits Filed Against Dentist; Incarcerated Juveniles Possibly Exposed to Diseases

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The oral surgeon under fire for potentially exposing thousands to HIV and Hepatitis B and C will face four more people in court. This comes as the Office of Juvenile Affairs is working to notify young people who might have been Dr. Harrington's patients during their time at L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs.

"We're working with the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority and Department of Health to notify those juveniles that were with us at the Rader Center, to get a letter to notify them to go in and have themselves checked," said Paula Christiansen with the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

According to records dating back to 1995, 191 juveniles were Dr. Harrington's patients. The Health Department can account for 97 of them in its list of about 7,000 possibly exposed to HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

Channel 8 spoke with attorney Paul Boudreaux, who is representing four people bringing lawsuits against Harrington. Three of them are suing for medical conditions they say resulted from Harrington's practice, including one woman facing a fatal case of chronic Hepatitis C. The fourth is the wife of one of Dr. Harrington's patients. She is suing for spousal consortium, meaning her husband could not display adequate affection to her following a heart attack, reportedly from Harrington's clinic.

"I've been practicing law for 33 years, and I have never in my life seen one reckless person cause this much devastation to this big a group of people," said Boudreaux.

There is another lawsuit against Dr. Harrington that a woman filed last month. It alleges the surgeon caused her physical and mental suffering.

Neither Harrington nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

As of Thursday, the Health Department reported 69 people had tested positive for Hepatitis C. Four had tested positive for Hepatitis B. Fewer than three tested positive for HIV.

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