Hepatitis Scare Claims Allowed in Las Vegas Clinic Class Action Lawsuit
Nevada District Judge Alan Earl, who is presiding over a class action lawsuit filed over unsafe medical practices at two Las Vegas endoscopy clinics, ruled Tuesday that claims for emotional distress made by patients who have not actually been diagnosed with hepatitis or another disease, will be permitted to continue.
The judge ruled that patients treated at the clinics who did not contract an illnesses can still claim emotional distress damages in the lawsuit, which has been filed against the owners of the now closed Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and an affiliated clinic, Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center.
Federal health investigations have found that the clinics reused vials of anesthesia and syringes meant for one-time use, exposing thousands of people to potential hepatitis infection or other diseases. Judge Earl ruled that being exposed to the risk of contracting an incurable blood-borne illnesses could lead to physical ailments caused by emotional distress, even if they did not actually contract the illness.
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On February 27, 2008, the Southern Nevada Health District officials began notifying about 55,000 former patients of the two clinics to get blood tests done as a precautionary measure for detection of Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and the HIV AIDS virus. As of May 2008, health officials confirmed 85 cases of Hepatitis-C linked to the Las Vegas clinics. At that time, there were at least 300 other people had also been diagnosed with Hepatitis-C, but health officials were unable to rule out other potential causes.
The Hepatitis C virus is spread by blood-to-blood contact. Symptoms can include stomach pain, jaundice and fatigue, and in some cases it could cause liver failure.
According to a court spokesman, 121 lawsuits have already been filed against the two clinics which were owned by Dr. Dipak Desai and Dr. Eladio Carrera. The owners have voluntarily surrendered their licenses to practice medicine and many lawyers representing victims have expressed concern about whether the owners’ assets and insurance coverage will be sufficient to satisfy all of the claims. Judge Earl’s ruling will likely lead to the filing of many new Hepatitis scare lawsuits as a result of the reckless and negligent medical practices.
BrendaApril 28, 2009 at 5:10 pm
i had an endoscopy done at that clinic in september 2007.
Las Vegas Hepatitis Scare Class Action Lawsuit Not Certified by Court : AboutLawsuits.comNovember 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm
[...] August 2008, Judge Earl ruled that cases for individuals who are pursuing lawsuits for emotional distress, but who have not actually been diagnosed with hepatitis or another disease, would be permitted to [...]
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