The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has been fined $4.5 million by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for its role in the deaths of two nurses. UTSW was accused of failing to properly monitor and secure the highly-addictive narcotic fentanyl.
This settlement marks the largest civil payment in Texas and the second-largest payment in the history of the country. The investigation lasted three years as a joint operation between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The DOJ alleged that over the course of five years, UTSW employees diverted controlled substances, including fentanyl, from UTSW’s Clements University Hospital and Zale Lipshy Pavilion. Additionally, UTSW failed to record the theft or significant loss of the drugs in a timely manner. This is not only a violation of the Controlled Substances Act but also a violation of the hospital's obligations as a DEA registrant.
These violations led to the overdose and death of two nurses: one in 2016 and another in 2018.
The story of UTSW goes to show that anyone can become addicted to opioids if they are not carefully and correctly managed. If you or a loved one have suffered injury or death from opioids, you may be able to recover financial compensation. In order to receive compensation, you will need the help of a mass torts attorney.
An experienced mass torts attorney can join your case with a multidistrict litigation and advocate on your behalf. Not only can a mass torts attorney help with your case, they can evaluate any settlement offers and withdraw you from the settlement if it doesn’t serve you.
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