Prosecution looms for nurse in Swedish MRI accident

By Philip Ward, AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writer

January 28, 2020 -- The specialist nurse who was sucked into an MRI scanner in Swedish Lapland last October may now be sued for causing danger to other people. Prosecutor Märta Warg will decide next month whether the case will go to court, according to reports in the national media.

Per Vallgårda from Ekot, the news service of Swedish national radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio, broke the story in a report posted on 21 January. He told AuntMinnieEurope.com on 27 January that he had spoken with the nurse's lawyer, Fredrik Larsson at Vernia in Stockholm, who confirmed that his client is suspected of causing danger to others, but Larsson did not wish to give any more details at this stage of the investigation.

Prosecutor Märta Warg
Prosecutor Märta Warg will decide if the injured nurse must attend a court trial. Image courtesy of SVT.

Märta Warg, the prosecutor at the Swedish National Environmental and Occupational Health and Social Affairs Unit who is responsible for the case, will rule in the next couple of weeks if the case will be heard in court, Vallgårda explained.

"The accident is a very unusual one, so I have no clue about the outcome," Vallgårda noted. "The name of the nurse is unknown to the public, and he has not been interviewed by the media. If the prosecutor decides to take him to court, the investigation about the accident will be publicly available, and also his name."

Aleris, which owns the MRI system and employs the specialist nurse who was reportedly wearing a weighted vest close to the scanner, is aware of the new development and is supporting the nurse in every way it can.

"We have had a good dialogue with our employee and have offered him all the support that we can as an employer. He has accepted some, but not all, of the support we have given," Sara Leffler Morge, head of communications at Aleris, told AuntMinnieEurope.com on 27 January. "I do not dare to speculate on whether it will come to court or not."

2 separate investigations

Two investigations are still underway, but everything indicates that only the specialist nurse will be prosecuted over the MRI accident, according to an article from SVT Nyheter posted on 22 January.

One inquiry is about work environment crime, while the other concerns causing danger to others. The whole investigation is not complete, but the individual's suspicion of causing danger to others has been fully dealt with, Warg reportedly told SVT.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority's management in Norrbotten -- Sweden's northernmost county that includes the coastal city of Luleå, where the accident happened -- has decided not to prosecute Aleris over work environment violations, the report added.

Everything will become clear in three weeks, when Warg thinks the investigation will be finished. In the meantime, information about the nurse's behavior is still confidential and remains a mystery, especially because the nurse has 10 years of experience in the field and should have known better, the article concluded.

Dr. Hans Ringertz, PhD, professor emeritus at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, thinks the latest development is logical.

"Even if the 'MR-nurse' unfortunately was injured, he is still responsible for 'causing dangers to others,' which is the legal accusation," he told AuntMinnieEurope.com. "I do not know the type of weighted vest that he used and if the manufacturer indicates the composition of the weight, but he ought to have understood that it might be magnetic in nature."


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