·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

South Carolina Woman Sues Hospital After “Violent” COVID Test

— July 19, 2022

The lawsuit alleges that the female plaintiff was subjected to a “violent” COVID-19 test that required multiple surgeries to amend.

A South Carolina woman has filed a lawsuit against the Medical University of South Carolina, alleging that she was subjected to a coronavirus test executed with such “violence” that she was forced to get surgery.

According to The News & Observer, the plaintiff alleges that a Medical University technician at the M.U.S.C. Health West Phlebotomy Lab in Charleston, S.C., “forcefully” shoved a swab into her nose with sufficient force to rupture her sinus cavity.

Even after scheduling and completing several surgeries, the woman says that physicians’ best efforts were “not entirely successful,” leaving her with permanent and potentially life-altering injuries.

The News & Observer reports that the lawsuit was filed on July 14 against the Medical University of South Carolina, which owns the Health West Phlebotomy Lab, over a COVID-19 detection test administered in July 2020.

The unidentified plaintiff says that scheduled a COVID-19 detection test after coming into close contact with someone who had already tested positive for the virus.

In her complaint, the woman notes that her employer’s policies mandate that she receive a negative result before returning to work.

Two days after scheduling her appointment, the woman arrived to the M.U.S.C. lab, where a technician—who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit—performed the test.

N95 mask; image by Hanabishi, via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.
N95 mask; image by Hanabishi, via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.

The lawsuit alleges that medical technician “violently inserted the COVID-19 testing swab so far up into the nose of the [plaintiff] with such force and distance within—that it immediately caused pain and discomfort.”

After the test was completed, the plaintiff noticed “clear watery discharge” from her left nostril. She later began to experience pain on the left side of her face.

While the woman’s primary care physician prescribed her antibiotics, her symptoms gradually worsened, and she was referred to Charleston E.N.T. & Allergy for further evaluation.

The E.N.T. clinic diagnosed the patient with a ruptured sinus cavity, attributed to the earlier coronavirus test.

Attorneys for the woman allege that she suffered damages as a direct result of the “negligence, careless, gross negligence, wantonness, and/or recklessness and departure from the professional standards of care” of the health care provider.

The lawsuit asserts that the Medical University of South Carolina should be found liable for its technician’s alleged misconduct.

The woman’s husband is also claiming damages in the lawsuit, alleging that he has suffered the loss of wife’s “aid, comfort, society, services, love, affection and consortium.”

Richard Hricik, an attorney for the couple, told McClatchy News that “patient safety always matters. COVID did not change this fact.”

“Health care professionals need to be ever mindful of the seriousness of the harms that can occur when patient safety isn’t put first,” Hricik said.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.


Lawsuit: ‘Violent’ COVID nasal swab ruptured patient’s sinus cavity

‘Violent’ COVID test left woman in need of surgery, South Carolina lawsuit says

Join the conversation!