Doc in Hep C Outbreak Loses Appeal on Assets

     (CN) – The doctor at the center of southern Nevada’s hepatitis C outbreak in 2008 lost his bid to be allowed to sell assets worth more than $50,000 without first getting a judge’s approval.

     Dr. Dipak Desai, who had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, appealed District Judge Allan Earl’s 2008 preliminary injunction requiring judicial oversight on the sale of his assets. But the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Desai’s bankruptcy trumps any court action against him, and that he could refile his appeal when his bankruptcy is settled.
     Desai surrendered his license in February, citing medical concerns.
     In 2008, the Southern Nevada Health District notified patients who had routine procedures at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and other clinics between 2004 and 2008 to get tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C after it was discovered that clinicians were either reusing syringes or vials of single-use anesthetic on patients.
     Thousands of lawsuits followed.
     The first case to reach trial ended in May after a jury awarded Henry and Lorraine Chanin $500 million in punitive damages after Henry Chanin contracted hepatitis C during a routine colonoscopy at the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center.
     The clinic was one of several linked to the hepatitis C outbreak.
     The same jury later ordered drug companies Teva Parenteral Medicines and Baxter Healthcare Corp. to pay $500 million in punitive damages.

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