Jury: HMO Liable For $24M In Vegas Hep C Outbreak

April 8, 2013

A Nevada jury says the state’s largest health management organization is liable for $24 million in compensatory damages to three plaintiffs in a negligence lawsuit stemming from a hepatitis C outbreak that became public in 2008.

A plaintiffs’ lawyer asked the jury last week to hold Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health Services responsible for another $1 billion in punitive damages for what he calls “reckless disregard” for patients’ health.

Attorneys for the two companies issued a statement saying they’re disappointed but not surprised by the civil trial verdict in Clark County District Court.

They argue they were blocked from showing that company officials didn’t know a doctor in their network was endangering patients with unsafe endoscopy practices at outpatient clinics in Las Vegas.

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