Jury being told HMO didn't cause Vegas hep C cases
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A defense lawyer says Nevada's largest health management company shouldn't be held responsible for two women contracting incurable hepatitis C at a Las Vegas endoscopy clinic in 2005.
In closing arguments Thursday, Health Plan of Nevada attorney D. Lee Roberts Jr. blamed former clinic owner Dipak Desai for a community hepatitis outbreak that plaintiffs' lawyers call the worst in U.S. history.
Roberts says five weeks of trial didn't prove the HMO and parent company Sierra Health Services Inc. had any knowledge that Desai posed a danger to patients.
That's the key to the case made Wednesday by lawyers seeking tens of millions of dollars in compensatory damages for plaintiffs Helen Meyer and Bonnie and Carl Brunson.
They say the companies ignored warning signs and put profits over safety.