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Two patients want to sue Montreal hospital

MONTREAL - Two women are trying to launch a class-action lawsuit against a Montreal-area hospital which is testing patients who underwent bariatric surgery and might have contracted HIV or hepatitis from an improperly sterilized surgical tool.

The women are among 150 patients who received a letter last February from the Lachine Hospital suggesting they get tested.

It was not immediately clear if the women, who were treated in 2013 and 2014 respectively, are infected.

Dr. Charles Frenette, a spokesman for the hospital, said that so far 89 per cent of the 150 patients have been judged free of any problems.

David Assor, the lawyer for the two women, says they want compensation for stress and loss of quality of life caused by the testing.

The lawsuit alleges the women were treated in a disrespectful manner by hospital staff and that others had to wait months to be tested. The allegations have not been proven in court.

Assor said Wednesday the request for the class-action lawsuit will be heard in Quebec Superior Court on Sept. 1.

The tool used in the bariatric surgeries was a liver retractor and officials are describing the sterilization procedure as "incomplete."

The hospital is part of the McGill University Health Centre and is one of the few places in the city where such a procedure is performed.

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