11/04/2013 04:53 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Lawsuit launched over use of unsterilized forceps in New Brunswick hospital

MIRAMICHI, N.B. - A class-action lawsuit has been launched against a New Brunswick hospital over the use of unsterilized biopsy forceps at a clinic over a 14-year period.

In August, the Miramichi Regional Hospital urged nearly 2,500 women to get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV after discovering the problem.

A statement of claim filed by Alta Christine Little of Miramichi is seeking damages, alleging the hospital's procedures fell below the normal standards of care.

The representative plaintiff says in a statement of claim filed Oct. 21 with the Court of Queen's Bench that she and others who may join the action are seeking damages for mental distress and anxiety.

The Horizon Health Network has publicly apologized for any distress it has caused and has said the risk of infection from the forceps is extremely low.

A spokeswoman for the health authority said Monday she has no comment while the legal proceedings are underway.