Endoscopy Patients Nearing Lawsuit Deadline - 8 News NOW

Endoscopy Patients Nearing Lawsuit Deadline

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Time is running out for possible victims of the hepatitis C scare to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. But time isn't the only issue patients face, hundreds of patients still don't have access to their medical records.

Attorneys for these patients have been trying for several months to get a hold of theses medical records so their clients could be part of this lawsuit. But attorneys say they're getting the runaround, potentially affecting hundreds of victims.

"I'm not getting a clear answer. What is available and where is it?" asked Special Hearing Master Floyd Hale. "This litigation is over half a year old."

Patience is running thin, not only for Hale, but for attorneys who want their client's medical records.

"Everybody is pointing the finger at everybody else and they are playing ping pong with patient's rights," said attorney Ed Bernstein.

Bernstein says despite numerous requests, records for nearly 200 people haven't been turned over -- records they need to make sure their clients are part of a class action lawsuit. The statute of limitiations runs out in February.

Metro seized 100,000 files from the clinics several months ago, but Captain Al Salinas says they don't have them all, "Keep in mind that we impounded the records that were there when we executed the search warrant. Not every medical facility has all of their files on one location."

Blame for the hold up is largely being placed on the defense. But defense attorneys claim they're doing all they can with the thousands of files they still have in their possession.

"It is a very large task and we understand that everyone wants those records and we are working as quickly as we can to get them those records," said attorney Mike Shannon.

A hearing master has given the defense two weeks to compile a list of records they have, records they've handed out and records they're missing. He also wants to see the files for himself, hoping to somehow make sure everyone gets a chance at justice.

Eyewitness News also learned during Thursday's hearing, the special hearing master gave the okay for the genetic testing results done by the Centers for Disease Control to be given to the defense.

The testing allegedly shows the link between the hepatitis C cases and the clinics in question.

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