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Las Vegas Hep C Outbreak Trial Begins

LAS VEGAS ( Courtroom View Network) -- Plaintiff attorneys Robert Eglet (Mainor Eglet) and Will Kemp (Kemp, Jones & Coulthard) and defense attorney Mark Tully (Goodwin Proctor), began the second trial involving a 2008 Hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas.

This trial involves five plaintiffs, Anne and James Arnold, Tony and Donna Devito, and Richard Sacks, who were allegedly infected with Hepatitis C during routine endoscopy procedures because the health care providers re-used, or "double-dosed," from large vials of the anesthetic Propofol. The plaintiffs claim that the Pharmaceutical companies should have provided single-dose vials to the endoscopy center, and that they inadequately warned the enodoscopy center not to re-use the larger vials.

According to Mr. Eglet, the defendants knew, based on 148 prior Propofol incidents, that their 50 milliliter Propofol infusion vials looked like multi-diagnose vials and that anesthesia providers were in fact reusing syringes on the larger Propofol vials.

According to Mr. Kemp, the defendands should have sent a Dear Doctor letter to health care providers alerting them to the risks posed by the larger Propofol vials.

For the defense, Mark Tully (Goodwin Proctor) emphasized the health care providers' responsibility for the Hepatitis C outbreak and the plaintiff's injuries.

Holding two Propfol infusion vials before the jury, Mr. Tully said, "these bottles of Propofol with respect to every procedure were perfectly manufactured...without any contamination whatsoever" when they left the manufacturer. They were "labeled exactly as they should have been when they left the distributors" and whatever "happened at the clinic happened solely at the clinic." "What went wrong had nothing to do with the bottles of Propofol," Mr. Tully stated.

The defendants face almost 300 lawsuits stemming from the 2008 Nevada Hepatitis C outbreak.

The trial is ongoing and includes testimony from numerous experts and lay witnesses. Gavel to gavel coverage is provided by Courtroom View Network.

CVN webcast Richard Sacks v. Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, Gastroenterology Center of Nevada, LLP, et al.
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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