Longview woman sues, claiming false HIV test result

Via Longview News-Journal

A Longview woman has filed suit claiming she was falsely diagnosed with HIV while pregnant.

In a lawsuit filed this past month, Susana Valencia seeks unspecified actual damages, and the maximum $250,000 in punitive damages, against Good Shepherd Health System, Dr. Yasser Zeid and Zeid Women’s Medical Center.

Neither Zeid nor Good Shepherd had filed responses to the suit. Good Shepherd Health System, which operates multiple campuses from its flagship medical center in Longview, declined to comment.

“As a matter of policy, Good Shepherd Health System cannot comment on pending litigation due to laws protecting patient privacy,” Executive Vice President and Legal Counsel Ken C. Cunningham said in a statement. “It is Good Shepherd’s goal to always strive for the best possible care for each patient.”

Zeid did not respond to requests for comment.

According to the May 27 filing, Valencia was called to the Women’s Medical Center one week after laboratory work was performed for her pregnancy.

That was in October 2012, and the suit says that when Valencia arrived she was told her blood work had come back as positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Valencia says she was sent to Special Health Resources of East Texas, a regional hub for AIDS treatment.

There, a new blood sample was taken to determine her T-cell count, which indicates the health of immune systems.

That sample showed her to be HIV-free, the suit asserts. A second test produced the same result.

The lawsuit claims Good Shepherd mislabeled Valencia’s lab samples and never notified her of that error.