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Defamation Alleged In Endoscopy Scandal

LAS VEGAS (CN) - A doctor at one of the endoscopy clinics accused of reusing syringes and potentially exposing thousands to hepatitis and HIV says a gastroenterologist defamed him in a newspaper article. Dr. Albert Mason takes issue with an April 16 article in the Las Vegas Review Journal about a health care adviser's plans to purchase two of the three clinics at the heart of the scandal.

In the seventh paragraph of the article, Dr. Julian Lopez, a gastroenterologist not associated with the practices, is quoted as saying, "None of those physicians in that group should ever be allowed to practice again," and, "Everybody in that medical group knew what was going on."

Mason says the comments defamed him, and adds that "actual wrongdoing on the part of any ... doctor has yet to be determined by a court of law."

State health officials have sent about 40,000 letters to former patients at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, urging them to get tested for blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV because doctors were reusing syringes.

Mason is represented in Clark County Court by Hector Carbajal.

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