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Hospital Outsourced Background Check Of Convicted Surgical Tech

DENVER (CBS4) - Swedish Medical Center outsourced the background check on its former surgical tech who is serving time in federal prison for taking the painkiller fentanyl from patients, CBS4 has learned.

Swedish hired Rocky Allen, the technician, in spite of his history of addiction and drug thefts.

Rocky Allen
Rocky Allen (credit: CBS)

The background check was done by a company called PreCheck, which is based in Houston. Attorneys for former patients say PreCheck missed that Allen had been court-martialed in the Navy for stealing the fentanyl.

Rocky Allen
Rocky Allen (credit: CBS)

"But the Navy ... this is a public record. This was available to anybody who made a phone call and asked for it," said Jim Avery, one of the attorneys.

Approximately 90 people are already suing the hospital and now they are also suing PreCheck.

Jim Avery
CBS4's Rick Sallinger interviews Jim Avery. (credit: CBS)

"If you have that very basic fact on the employment check, he never gets hired, these people don't get exposed to HIV and you have no lawsuit," Avery said.

Those who underwent treatment at Swedish while Allen was employed there were advised to be tested for HIV and hepatitis that they could have contracted. The state has said no one appears to have contracted HIV. Allen was a carrier of the virus.

Tia Lanci is one of those.

"I was affected because of just the devastation of being put at risk to die, basically," Lanci said.

Tia Lanci
Tia Lanci (credit: CBS)

Allen had worked at several other hospitals before Swedish, but they did not reveal that he had drug theft problems there.

Both PreCheck and Swedish declined to comment on Allen's background check.

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