Robert Allen Faces Federal Charges Against Drug Cases
Published on March 12, 2016
Yesterday we alerted Arizonans about former Phoenix surgery tech Robert Allen “Rocky” who put patients at risk for Hepatitis B & C or HIV at two valley hospitals: John C. Lincoln Medical Center and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. But today we’d like to dive deeper into Allen’s employment history, for it brings up a very important question: how has Robert Allen continued to be hired on to hospitals when his employment history clearly shows his inability to keep a job for more than a couple months? And why wasn’t he reported to the Board of Nursing sooner?
Robert Allen is a Navy veteran whose first job outside the armed forces as a surgical tech was at Northwest Hospital in Seattle, WA for two months in 2012. It appears he was let go/laid off, but an investigation is still ongoing as to why he was terminated from that position.
Allen’s next job was in 2013 at Scripps Health Center in San Diego, where he was fired June 12, 2013 for switching syringes and taking a syringe from a cart and putting it in his scrub pants, according to his dismissal letter. The letter continues that when confronted, Robert Allen pulled the syringe out of his sock and placed it on the table.
In May 2014, Allen began working at his next job at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in San Diego. A mere two months later, in July 2014, he was let go due to testing positive for marijuana.
That same month, in July 2014, Allen moved on to John C. Lincoln Medical Center where he worked until September 26, 2014. He was terminated on October 6, 2014 after he tested positive for fentanyl – a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to, but more potent than morphine.
Allen then ventured to Colorado and started working at Swedish Medical Center in August 2015. He was fired January 2016 after hospital staff caught him trying to swap out a full syringe of fentanyl with a syringe filled with some other unnamed substance.
In January, Robert Allen’s license was suspended. In February, a Federal Grand Jury indicted Allen on charges of tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit.
Swedish Medical Center notified more than 2,900 patients of the need to be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. As of February news reports, two patients have tested positive for Hepatitis B.
After hearing about Allen’s arrest and indictment, John C. Lincoln Medical Center and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center followed suit and notified 97 patients of the need for testing. Scripps notified 518 patients of the need for testing. All facilities offer testing for free to these patients.
Robert Allen pled not guilty in Federal Court on February 19, 2016 and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond to a halfway house in order to receive drug treatment.
All of this leads us back to the place we started: how did Allen continue to be hired at all of these hospitals? With five jobs over four years and big gaps of unemployment between his two to four month stints with hospitals, why did he continue to be hired? Not one of the hospitals shared why Allen was terminated with potential employers, which employment law prohibits. Furthermore, when these hospitals caught Allen stealing drugs and failing drug tests, why wasn’t he reported to the Board of Nursing sooner?
Patients rely on doctors and nurses to keep them safe and act responsibly, but we also rely on hospitals to hire doctors and nurses who will meet those requirements.
If you have received a letter from Phoenix hospitals, John C. Lincoln Medical Center or Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, stating your risk and offering free testing, contact Knapp & Roberts Law Firm immediately. Our expert medical malpractice attorneys in Arizona will guide you through this difficult time and look out for your best interest every step of the way. Call us today at 480-991-7677.
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