• Exposing the Largest Outbreak Of

    Hepatitis C

    In American Healthcare History

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Cancer Clinic Causes Worst Hepatitis Outbreak In US History

In the small farming community of Fremont, Nebraska, townspeople eagerly welcomed an acclaimed doctor as the first full-time oncologist at their new cancer treatment center — but the fanfare soon turned into a nightmare.

During chemotherapy treatments, 857 patients who were already waging the fights of their lives against cancer, were inexplicably exposed to the deadly, blood-borne hepatitis C virus. At least ninety-nine of them contracted the lethal illness. The horror was unprecedented—this was the largest healthcare-transmitted outbreak of hepatitis C in American history.

A Never Event — a term used to describe a preventable medical tragedy — is a searing story of recklessness, deception and betrayal. It’s part mystery, part courtroom drama.

Written by a survivor of the tragedy and an attorney who represented many of the victims, A Never Event is a wake-up call to medical and legal communities nationwide.

About the Authors

Evelyn V. McKnight

Evelyn is a wife, mother and audiologist from Fremont, Nebraska. She is one of a hundred cancer survivors who contracted hepatitis C through health-care transmission at the Fremont Cancer Center in 2000–2001. Using the money from her settlement against the oncology clinic, she co-founded the patient advocacy foundation HONOReform, which has been recognized by CBS, CNN’s American Morning, USA Today, The Associated Press and Newsday. She is married to Dr. Thomas McKnight, a family physician who helped uncover the Nebraska outbreak.

Travis T. Bennington

A practicing civil trial attorney, Travis was one of the attorneys who represented victims of the Nebraska outbreak in their civil actions against Dr. Tahir Ali Javed, the nurses who worked for him, the Fremont Cancer Center and the Fremont Area Medical Center. Nineteen of the Nebraska Outbreak victims were his clients, neighbors and friends. Mr. Bennington is also a co-founder of HONOReform.

“[A] harrowing account… I commend [McKnight’s] advocacy and efforts to raise awareness about healthcare-related infections and other potentially life-threatening illnesses.”

Hon. Shelley Berkley, congresswoman, Nevada


“Evelyn McKnight has taken a courageous step in telling her personal experience. Her story has provided encouragement and hope to people across the nation.”

Lawrence Sands, DO, MPH

“This is a ‘must-read’ for hospital and clinic administrators, providers, and especially patients. It is up to each of us to assure that what happened to Evelyn McKnight doesn’t happen under our watch or in our personal care situation.”

Charles Stokes, president and CEO, CDC Foundation


“The wake-up call to doctors, nurses and to patients. This book will be the text for all ethical healthcare providers.”

Joe Hardy, MD, Nevada State Assembly