LAS VEGAS (CN) - Two patients who say they got hepatitis C at clinics at the heart of the reused syringe scandal are seeking damages from insurance companies. The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada have been accused of reusing syringes on thousands of patients, exposing them to hepatitis and HIV.
In separate lawsuits in Clark County Court, June Downing and Henry Chanin say the Health Plan of Nevada was negligent when it "chose to contract" with the Endoscopy Center and the Gastroenterology Center to provide services to its policyholders.
Last year, the Southern Nevada Health District urged more than 40,000 former patients of the clinics to get tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV after accusations surfaced that doctors and nurses reused syringes and vials of anesthesia on patients over a 4-year period.
Plaintiffs say the insurance company had a duty to "evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of health care services provided by the clinics to its insureds ... and should have known that the clinics engaged in unsafe medical practices."
Defendants include the Health Plan of Nevada, Sierra Health Services and affiliates, and United Health Healthcare Insurance Co. and an affiliate.
The plaintiffs are represented by Robert Cottle with Mainor Eglet.