Fertility Patients Sue Yale University After Nurse Stole Fentanyl And Replaced It With Saline

On November 17, 2021, seven women filed a lawsuit against Yale University for its alleged failure to safeguard the fentanyl supply at its Yale University Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility clinic in Orange, Connecticut last year which caused them to suffer unecessary, excruciating pain. The plaintiffs allege that a nurse at the fertility clinic stole fentanyl for her personal use and replaced the stolen fentanyl with saline solution, which the women unknowingly received for their pain. Hundreds of women may have unknowingly received saline instead of fentenayl at the clinic last year.

The plaintiffs’ lawsuit alleges that Yale University failed to follow required pharmacy protocols that resulted in the nurse being able to access and tamper with the vials of fentanyl. The plaintiffs further allege that Yale University violated state and federal laws by having in excess of 175 vials of fentanyl in an unsupervised and unlocked area of the fertility clinic. The plaintiffs allege that Yale University also failed to implement safeguards such as drug-testing its staff who had access to fentanyl and other opioids. The plaintiffs’ lawsuit alleges counts for medical malpractice and medical battery.

The plaintiffs allege in their lawsuit they they endured excruciating pain during and after in vitro fertilization procedures because the fentanyl they were given was in fact saline solution, which has no effect on pain. One of their Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers stated, “Yale’s failure to develop and implement safety measures mandated by state and federal law to secure drugs like fentanyl resulted in these patients being traumatized. What should have been a time of hope for these women and their families became one of unimaginable suffering.”

The nurse, who is no longer employed by Yale, pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product and was sentenced in May 2021 to four weekends in prison, three months of home confinement, and three years of supervised release.


Prosecutors in the criminal case alleged: “In June 2020, [Donna] Monticone began stealing fentanyl for her own use. She accessed secure storage areas and took vials of fentanyl, used a syringe to withdraw the narcotics from the vials, and reinjected saline into vials so that it would appear as if none of the narcotics were missing. The investigation revealed that approximately 75 percent of the fentanyl given to patients at the Yale REI clinic from June to October 2020 was adulterated with saline. Some of the vials contained diluted fentanyl, while others contained no drug at all and contained just saline.”

“Monticone knew that the adulterated vials of fentanyl she replaced at the Yale REI clinic would be used in surgical procedures, and that the absence of an anesthetic during an outpatient procedure may cause serious bodily injury to the patient. Monticone initially injected herself with the fentanyl while working at the Yale REI clinic and eventually began taking the vials home. She would refill the vials with sterile saline at home, bring them back to the clinic, and reintroduce them into the stock of fentanyl available for use during surgical procedures. On approximately November 1, 2020, Monticone brought approximately 175 vials of fentanyl that she had taken from the Yale REI clinic and discarded them in waste containers at the clinic.”


Hospitals throughout the United States are only as good as the people who staff them and the quality of the care that each of the staff provides to their patients. Patients in hospitals necessarily must rely on many different hospital employees to receive the proper diagnosis and to be appropriately treated. Just one bad apple, or just one careless or negligent medical error by a single hospital employee, may result in catastrophic harm suffered by innocent victims of medical negligence.

If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) due to hospital negligence in Connecticut or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a hospital malpractice lawyer in Connecticut, or a hospital malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your hospital malpractice claim for you and represent you in a hospital medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find hospital medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 21st, 2021 at 5:24 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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