Alcohol prep pads had bacteria, woman claims in suit against H&P Industries and others

Andrea Dearden Jul. 22, 2011, 11:27am


A Madison County widow is suing the makers and distributors of alcohol prep pads that she says were knowingly sold to the public despite being contaminated with bacteria.

Sharon Rockett, on behalf of herself and the estate of Garry W. Rockett, filed a lawsuit July 1 in Madison County Circuit Court against H & P Industries, Triad Group Inc., Genenteck Inc., Carefusion Corporation, RGH Enterprises doing business as Edgepark Medical Supplies and Cancer Treatment Centers of America Inc. Rocketts says each of the defendants played a role in her husband's death that was allegedly caused by bacteria-laden alcohol pads.

According to the complaint, in 2009, H & P Industries was manufacturing the Triad alcohol prep pads included in PleurX Drainage Kits distributed by Carefusion. PleurX Drainage Kits were sold and distributed to RGH Enterprises, doing business as Edgepark Medical Supplies. Edgepark Medical Supplies sold and distributed PleurX Drainage Kits to Cancer Treatment Center of America and also directly to Sharon Rockett to be used by her husband. She says Edgepark Medical Supplies also sold the kits directly to her.

Rockett claims the Triad alcohol pads, labeled as sterile, were actually contaminated with the bacteria bacillius cereus. The woman also contends the company manufacturing the prep pads knew about the contamination for nearly two years before alerting patients who had been using them.

Rockett says calls the alcohol pads "unreasonably dangerous" and says they posed a severe risk to all patients -- and an even greater risk to patients with weakened immune systems, like her husband. She says "shoddy sterilization practices" at H & P Industries are to blame for the bacteria found in the alcohol wipes. Rockett says bacteria from a Triad alcohol wipe caused her husband to get a serious infection and die.

After allegedly receiving at least 100 complaints about the wipes, investigators with the Food and Drug Administration visited the H & P facility, the lawsuit says.

Rockett says the agency expressed multiple concerns about the about the Triad alcohol prep pads including a questionable sterilization process, worn and broken equipment, misidentified batches of products and a lack of quality standards.

Despite knowing about the manufacturing problems, Rockett says H & P Industries continued selling tainted alcohol prep wipes for two more years. Rocketts says she received a notice of an "urgent product recall" for Triad prep pads dated Feb. 9, 2011.

Rockett accuses H & P Industries of willful and wanton conduct for allegedly showing disregard for the safety of others. The widow is asking H & P and the five other defendants to pay an undetermined money for her pecuniary and emotional loss as allowed under the Wrongful Death Act, Survival Statute and Rights of Married Persons Act.

Attorneys William J. Knapp and Del A. Goldenhersh of Edwardsville are representing Rockett.

St. Clair County Judicial Court Case No. 11-L-309

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