Health Care Provider Had Duty to Report Theft to DEA and the Law
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Health Care Provider Had Duty to Report Theft to DEA and the Law

A worker provided to a hospital by a health care staffing agency stole fentanyl syringes and proceeded to infect patients with hepatitis at a facility where he later worked. The patients sued the hospital and staffing agency. The lower court held both defendants owed a common law duty of care to report the diversion of fentanyl to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and law enforcement authorities. On appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the hospital’s duty, but refused to extend that duty to the staffing agency. The court expressed reticence to impose such a generalized duty on the staffing agency to report and hold them liable for another party’s criminal acts which could expand in future cases into “something that confounds sound public policy and defies principled limitation.” 

Walters v UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside