WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- The American Red Cross faces another lawsuit over its blood supply business even as the agency comes under new regulatory scrutiny on safety compliance.
The Wall Street Journal, citing enforcement records, reported the Red Cross has paid more than $5 million in fines in the past three years and issued more than a dozen recalls under a court order to clean up its lucrative $2 billion blood business.
In the new case before U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington, D.C., a former Red Cross quality-control manager has alleged 607 pints of contaminated blood were released in New Jersey -- even though senior Red Cross officials knew they had been collected improperly, reports the Journal.
The suit says Red Cross officials suspended the worker involved but didn't immediately alert regulators as required, or make an effort to recall the blood before it was used. It is not known if any infections or illness arose from the incident two years ago, the report said.
A Red Cross spokesman declined to comment on specific claims in the case but said blood safety "is our chief priority, and we are working to do whatever we can to get into complete compliance."