In response to a request from Assistant U.S. Attorney John Farley, Judge Joseph Laplante ordered defense attorneys in the trial of David Kwiatkowski to protect the identity of patients infected with hepatitis C by Kwiatkowski.
Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician, is infected with hepatitis C. He is accused of acting as a “serial infector” by stealing syringes filled with the drug fentanyl and using the drug himself. Kwiatkowski then refilled the syringes with saline and used the syringes to inject patients. From 2003 to 2011, Kwiatkowski worked in over 17 hospitals in New Hampshire, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arizona, Kansas, and Georgia. By May 2012, the investigation had discovered 32 patients from these hospitals who are infected with the strain of hepatitis C carried by Kwiatkowski.
Kwiatkowski will stand trial in February 2013 on seven counts of “tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of illegally obtaining drugs.” Judge Laplante’s ruling protects the privacy of the hepatitis C-infected patients’ health information by requiring that defense counsel and prosecutors redact all personal information in pre-trial preparation activities and get the approval of the court before presenting the health care information of any individuals in court.