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Jury Selection Begins|in First Hep-C Case

LAS VEGAS (CN) - Jury selection began Monday in the first trial against one of the world's largest drugmakers for its alleged role in a hepatitis C outbreak here two years ago. Henry Chanin's lawsuit is the first of hundreds to be tried after Nevada health officials said endoscopy clinics were reusing single-dose vials of anesthesia on patients.

Chanin says he suffered with symptoms of acute hepatitis C after being treated at the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Clinic, one of the sister clinics of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

Chanin, like many others, named in his lawsuits as defendants Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc., makers of the anesthetic propofol that was used by the clinics. Baxter Healthcare Corp., which distributed propofol, also was named as defendant in many of the complaints.

Chanin says the drugmaker and distributor caused the outbreak by selling the large bottles of propofol with five times the amount needed, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal. He also says the drugmaker didn't put proper warning labels on the vials.

Teva, which is based in Israel and is one of the largest generic drugmakers in the world, has denied the claims.

A confidential settlement was reached last month against doctors and nurses in Chanin's case, the R-J reported.

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