NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Seventy-four people are suing the Yale University Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility Clinic for allegedly failing to notify its patients after a nurse swapped fentanyl for saline, according to a new lawsuit.
Seven people including an obstetrics and gynecology doctor filed a new lawsuit on Monday alleging the clinic failed to provide pain medication for patients during and after invasive fertility procedures.
The lawsuit alleges that Yale University refused to notify the plaintiffs of a mass drug diversion involving a nurse who switched fentanyl used with medical procedures with saline. The lawsuit alleges that the patients were left in extreme pain during medical procedures.
The Koskoff, Koskoff, and Bieder law firm previously filed a lawsuit against the clinic for 68 people for the drug diversion in November 2021. The lawsuit alleged that Yale knowingly ignored multiple complaints from women who claimed to experience excruciating pain during procedures.
“When I learned years later that the excruciating pain, I experienced was a direct result of the institution’s failure to properly manage controlled substances, and that nobody on my care team or administrators at Yale had reached out to tell me about this, I felt betrayed,” said plaintiff Kaitlin O’Connor, who is a practicing gynecologist.
The latest lawsuit alleges that Yale only notified a subset of patients who underwent fertility treatments at the Orange Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility Clinic, not those at the Long Whaf facility.
A nurse pleaded guilty in March 2021 to taking fentanyl stored at the Yale University Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility Clinic on Long Wharf in New Haven and replacing it with saline, officials said.
According to Yale, the drug diversions took place between June through October 2020.
A spokesperson for Yale University said immediately upon learning of the diversions the university contacted law enforcement and fired the nurse. Yale University has since instituted additional measures and put safeguards in place.
Yale University released the following statement in part below.
“Since this time, we have instituted additional measures to ensure we have the right processes, procedures and safeguards in place. These measures include training and enhanced management systems. Over the same period, our faculty and staff have led critical studies to reduce pain in women with endometriosis, developed new treatments for infertility and worked to decrease disparities and increase access to fertility care.”