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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

NEVADA: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Las Vegas Clinic


Associated Press (02.29.08) - Friday, February 29, 2008

A class action lawsuit was filed late Thursday against the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada (ECSN), one day after health officials said the center is believed to have reused syringes and contaminated vials of medication.

The suit alleges gross negligence at the center and seeks punitive damages "in excess of $10,000" per patient affected. It was filed on behalf of one patient, but others have joined and more probably will, said Peter Wetherall, a Las Vegas attorney.

On Wednesday, Southern Nevada Health District officials said they believe unsafe practices at ECSN had exposed patients to the risk of hepatitis B and C and HIV. Five of six patients known to be infected with hepatitis C virus attended the clinic on the same day in late September, health officials said. The sixth is believed to have been infected in July. About 40,000 people who received anesthesia at ECSN between March 2004 and January 2008 are being advised to be screened for the diseases.

The suit, filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada, names as defendants ECSN; its chief administrator, Dipak Desai; a center doctor, Eladio Carrera; and any employee who "directly provided and/or supervised" unsafe medical procedures.

A spokesperson for ECSN did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


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