Plans Appeal of Award in Hepatitis Case
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 10, 2010
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Teva
Pharmaceutical Industries said that it
planned to appeal a multimillion-dollar
verdict in a civil case stemming from a
hepatitis C outbreak two years ago.
A Clark County District Court jury in
Las Vegas ordered Teva on Friday to pay
$356 million in punitive damages to
Henry Chanin and his wife, Lorraine.
Another drug company, Baxter Healthcare,
was ordered to pay the couple $144
Health officials have
blamed reuse of vials of the anesthetic
propofol for infecting patients with the
incurable liver disease.
In a statement, Teva
officials said Sunday that numerous
grounds existed for an appeal.
A spokeswoman for Baxter
also said previously that the company
would also appeal the decision.
The punitive damages
come on top of more than $5 million
already awarded to the couple by the
same jury. It found the companies
responsible for breach of implied
warranty and failure to warn. The jury
awarded Henry Chanin $3.25 million and
his wife $1.85 million from the
The drug manufacturer
and distributor provided the propofol
used by endoscopy clinics at the heart
of the hepatitis C outbreak. At least 9
— and possibly as many as 114 — patients
were infected with the disease.
The Southern Nevada
Health District advised about 50,000
patients who received endoscopy
procedures at the clinics to get tested.
The 2008 notification prompted
widespread fear of infection and led to
Chanin’s lawyer, Robert
Eglet said he represents 40 more
patients with lawsuits who contracted
hepatitis C and another 4,500 who were
tested after the notification but did
not contract the disease. The Chanins’
case was the first to reach trial.
Henry Chanin, the
62-year-old headmaster of a private
school run by the wife of Las Vegas’s
mayor, contracted hepatitis C in 2006
during a routine procedure at Desert
Shadow Endoscopy Center, the jury was
UPDATE: "Patients were put at risk,
health officials say, when a syringe
would be reused on an infected patient
and then used to draw anesthesia from
vials intended for just one patient. The
vials would then be used on other
patients, potentially spreading