Insurer Tries to Limit Claims in Syringe Case

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – The American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pennsylvania wants to cap claims available to patients who contracted hepatitis C after being treated with reused syringes at endoscopy clinics throughout the Las Vegas Valley.




     The insurance company seeks declaratory judgment in Federal Court that the claims against insured pharmacist Mary Grear that arose “from the alleged exposure of multiple claimants to hepatitis C during medical procedures involving sedation … constitute ‘related claims,’ as defined in the policy. … As a result, those claims must be considered a single claim, subject to a single $1 million each claim indemnity limit of liability applicable under the policy.”
     Several lawsuits filed by patients claiming they contracted hepatitis C named Grear as a defendant, claiming she helped establish “policies and procedures for and supervised the ordering, supply, dispensing and/or administration of anesthesia.”
     The Southern Nevada Health District recommended in 2008 that 49,000 patients be tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV after being treated at endoscopy clinics across the Las Vegas Valley. Health officials say they have linked nine cases of hepatitis C to the endoscopy centers.
     Eighteen lawsuits involving the reused syringe scandal were settled in January for an undisclosed amount.
     The insurance company is represented by James Bradshaw with McDonald Carano.

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