Last cases against Palo
Alto lab worker dismissed
people who believe they were infected with HIV and hepatitis C by a lab
worker who reused needles, plan to appeal a judge's dismissal of their
woman, known as Jane Doe in court documents, discovered she was HIV-positive
after Elaine Giorgi drew her blood in 1997 and 1999.
remember being shocked, like the feeling you get when someone dies," Doe,
who asked not to be identified, told the San Jose Mercury News for a story
Saturday. "You know your life is never going to be the same again."
one of dozens who sued Giorgi and her employer, SmithKline Beecham Clinical
Laboratories, seeking financial compensation in a case that drew national
attention. But last month, a judge dismissed the last two cases, including
one of about 3,600 people who had their blood drawn by Giorgi, who admitted
reusing needles to draw blood from patients at a Palo Alto laboratory from
1997 to 1999.
57, served about half of a one-year jail sentence after pleading no contest
in June 2002 to felony charges of illegally disposing of medical waste, said
her public defender Brian Matthews. She also had six months of electronic
monitoring and is serving the remainder of her five-year probation sentence.
She did not return a call to the Mercury News.
Orzoff, 72, who contracted hepatitis C, also had his case dismissed last
month after Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Leslie C. Nichols said
there was insufficient evidence the infections were caused by Giorgi.
not believe that the technician was responsible for the infection of the
plaintiffs in this case, and the court agreed," said Patricia Seif, a
spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline, formerly SmithKline Beecham. She said Doe's
and Orzoff's were the last cases outstanding.
knows why Giorgi reused the needles, though investigators said it may have
been a misguided attempt to save the company money. SmithKline denied she
was encouraged to cut costs.
Information from: San Jose Mercury News