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Man Says He Was Sickened by Falling Needle

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (CN) - A Florida man says a dirty needle fell from the ceiling of a motel and pricked him, infecting him with hepatitis C.

In a lawsuit in St. Lucie County Court, Joseph Carpenter claims he had just gotten out of the shower in his room at the Fort Pierce Motel 6, when "a syringe with a needle in it fell out of the popcorn board ceiling, struck him on the right shoulder and drew blood."

Carpenter says he took the syringe to the front desk and showed it to a motel employee, who "indicated it was not uncommon for syringes to fall from the ceilings in the motel's rooms."

The employee "pulled out a plastic syringe disposal container and placed the syringe into it," Carpenter claims.

The incident happened on January 6, 2014, according to the lawsuit.

The next day, Carpenter "felt feverish, had a cough and was nauseous," he says.

He later went to a veteran's clinic to get tested, and "on January 22 ... the lab work came back positive for Hepatitis C," according to the lawsuit.

The sole defendant, Motel 6 Operating LP, had "failed to warn Plaintiff Carpenter and/or similarly situated invitees, that concealed behind the popcorn ceiling tiles in the guest rooms were contaminated syringes," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit suggests that the needle had been hidden in the ceiling tiles by a motel employee or previous guest.

The current manager of Motel 6's Fort Pierce location declined to comment on the case.

Carpenter is represented by Jeffrey Rollins, a St. Lucie County personal injury attorney.

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