A pharmacist who was fired after reusing syringes while administering COVID-19 vaccinations is now suing his former employer, claiming that his actions did not warrant termination. Bhanu Prasad Seelaboyina, the former pharmacy manager at Kent Pharmacy in New Westminster, British Columbia, alleges that his “slight” error in judgment should not be considered misconduct or gross incompetence.
The incident occurred between August 24 and 26, 2021, when Seelaboyina reused syringe barrels during COVID-19 vaccinations. According to the claim, he believed that this practice was safe and would not pose a risk to patients. However, the pharmacy never provided him with its safety protocols and did not review them with him before or after the incident.
Seelaboyina argues that the pharmacy terminated his employment without conducting a review to determine if his actions warranted dismissal. He claims that a minor error in judgment should not be sufficient grounds for dismissal. As a result, he is suing the pharmacy for breach of contract, wrongful dismissal, and aggravated damages.
The syringe incident has led to multiple lawsuits. Patients have launched a proposed class action lawsuit against the pharmacy and Seelaboyina. Fraser Health, the public health authority, recommended affected patients undergo blood testing for potential exposure to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. The pharmacy has also filed a lawsuit against Seelaboyina, alleging negligence and seeking compensation for loss of business income, loss of goodwill, and reputational harm.
Seelaboyina was disciplined by the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia for the incident. As part of a consent agreement, he was suspended for a year and banned from administering drugs intranasally or by injection for an additional six months. He is currently prohibited from acting as a pharmacy manager until August 2024 and must complete an ethics course and full retraining before seeking recertification.
Kent Pharmacy has not yet responded to Seelaboyina’s claims, and none of the allegations in the lawsuits have been tested in court.
Sources: [Source 1], [Source 2]
COVID-19: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Syringe: A syringe is a medical device used to inject or withdraw fluids from the body.
Pharmacist: A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who specializes in dispensing and managing medications.
Breach of contract: Breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill the obligations specified in a contract without a legal excuse.
Wrongful dismissal: Wrongful dismissal refers to the termination of an employee in violation of their employment contract or without proper justification.
Aggravated damages: Aggravated damages are awarded to a plaintiff in civil lawsuits to compensate for intangible harm or distress caused by the defendant’s conduct.
Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C is a viral infection that primarily affects the liver and can cause chronic liver disease.
HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system and can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Negligence: Negligence refers to a failure to use reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to others.
Loss of business income: Loss of business income refers to a decline in revenue or profits experienced by a business due to various factors such as legal issues, reputation damage, or decreased customer trust.
Loss of goodwill: Loss of goodwill refers to the diminished value or reputation of a business as a result of negative events or actions.
Reputational harm: Reputational harm occurs when a person or business suffers damage to their reputation due to negative publicity or actions.
Consent agreement: A consent agreement is a legally binding agreement between parties that outlines terms and conditions agreed upon voluntarily.
[Source 1: Link]
[Source 2: Link]