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Hospital Worker Gets 39 Years In Hepatitis C Case

CONCORD, N.H. (WJZ) -- A New Hampshire hospital worker learns his punishment for infecting dozens of people with Hepatitis C, including seven people right here in Maryland.

Derek Valcourt has more on the punishment and reaction from a Baltimore man who was infected with the virus.

Prosecutors called him a serial infector who knew he had Hepatitis C. Victims called him a monster and a sociopath.

Veteran Linwood Nelson of Baltimore traveled all the way to New Hampshire to tell a judge the punishment he wants for 34-year-old David Kwiatkowski, the man who infected him and 45 other people with Hepatitis C.

"He gave me the death penalty so he should receive the same thing that I have," he said.

Kwiatkowski spent years traveling from hospital to hospital as a medical technician. Along the way, prosecutors say he injected himself with syringes of painkillers meant for patients, then refilled those contaminated syringes to be used again, infecting seven people here in Maryland, one in nearby Pennsylvania, six in Kansas and 32 in New Hampshire.

"He has destroyed my life and I have a lot of restless nights, sleepless nights, terrible thoughts. It's just scary. I just wonder when my day is going to come that I no longer can live because of the Hepatitis C," Nelson said.

Nelson was infected when he had a procedure done at the VA Medical Center in Baltimore, one of four Maryland hospitals where Kwiatkowski worked.

More than 20 victims came to testify at the sentencing.

"It's scary, very scary, that this could happen. You trust the medical field and look what happened," said Linda Sanborn.

Kwiatkowski apologized to the victims and blamed his actions on an addiction to drugs and alcohol before the judge sentenced him to 39 years before bars.

"It's not enough, 30 or 40 years. As far as I'm concerned, he should be tried for murder. Like I said, one guy died and it's his fault," said victim Bill Rooney.

Prosecutors asked the judge for a 40-year sentence. The judge gave him 39 years, saying he took off one year as a "token of mercy."

In all, more than 12,000 people in seven different states had to be tested for Hepatitis C as a result of Kwiatkowski's actions.

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