Harrington Office

Tulsa oral surgeon faces class action lawsuit

Sept. 5, 2013

September 5, 2013

In March, more than 7,000 patients of a Tulsa oral surgeon were advised to get tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV after a patient tested positive for hepatitis C with no known risk factors. Eventually, Dr. Scott Harrington's office was investigated by the Tulsa Health Department and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. They found that the proper infection control procedures were not in place: equipment was not properly sterilized and some medication in his office had expired in 1993.

Developing story: Tulsa dentist accused of putting patients at risk for HIV, hepatitis

By May, the Oklahoma State Board of Health took no action after meeting to discuss the investigation. Since then, the case has been quiet — until now.

Local news station KJRH announced that Dr. Harrington is being sued by seven out of potentially 7,000 patients who were put at risk. Five of the seven people suing contracted infectious diseases while patients of Dr. Harrington. The Oklahoma State Board of Health reports that 77 of Dr. Harrington's former patients have tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B, and four for HIV.

The plaintiffs, claiming damages over $10,000, are suing Harrington, his corporation, and several pharmaceutical companies, including Hospira, Pharaceutical Systems, and Southern Anesthesia, for selling multi-use Propofol vials.

Dr. Harrington will appear before the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry on January 17.

Lauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.