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Settlement in the works for lawsuits over painkiller thefts

August 8, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The owner of a Des Moines hospital has decided to settle dozens of lawsuits filed by patients who say they suffered needless pain after a hospital worker stole their painkillers.

Authorities say Victor Van Cleave had worked at Iowa Methodist Medical Center when he used a syringe to steal fentanyl and other painkillers, replacing the liquid with sterile water. He was sentenced in July 2018 to 30 months in prison.

The Des Moines Register reports that a trial scheduled to begin Aug. 19 was postponed after the judge was informed about a tentative settlement. UnityPoint Health-Des Moines owns the hospital, and UnityPoint spokeswoman and a lawyer for the plaintiffs confirmed this week that the two sides are working to settle the case. They declined to comment further.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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