SCM: Judge Issues Sanction Against Health Plan of Nevada Attorneys In Las Vegas Hepatitis C Trial

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Judge Williams On The Issue of Defense Misconduct "It's my decision its clear and present in this case."

Clark County District Court Judge Timothy Williams issued a sanction against Health Plan of Nevada attorneys in a ruling on Monday, April 1, stating, "Misconduct did happen and has occurred on more than one occasion and it's willful because it did happen." Judge Williams carefully reviewed each accusation of misconduct citing a pattern or message as his impression. "If it happens once or twice I guess you can say its a mistake but based on the number of violations in this case, I feel they rise to the level of willfulness."

Plaintiffs Attorney Robert Eglet requested the court issue the sanction on Friday, March 30. Judge Williams released jurors early on Friday as attorneys presented arguments to the court.

Robert Eglet cited the violation of at least 12 pretrial rulings violated multiple times, in his request to sanction attorneys for Health Plan of Nevada, defendants in the Las Vegas trial for the role of the HMO in the largest outbreak of hepatitis C in U.S. history. "The defense is calculated and purposeful," said Eglet.

During closing arguments Robert Eglet outlined 15 red flags that the HMO knew or should have known about the lack of quality care provided by Dr. Desai and the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. Doctors and surgery centers are reviewed for credentialing by the Health Plan of Nevada credentialing committee.

Eglet asked jurors to consider $20 million for plaintiff Bonnie Brunson and $5 million for husband Carl Brunson. Will Kemp, attorney for Helen Meyer, asked jurors to be fair and reasonable as they consider compensatory damages for his client.

Closing arguments are scheduled to conclude tomorrow.

The complaints, #A583799 and A-10-608344-C filed in Clark County District Court, cite the duty to monitor the effectiveness and safety of the health care providers and clinics required by the HMO for use by its members, and the failure to monitor, as leading to the notification from the Southern Nevada Health District to 50,000 Nevadans that they may have been exposed to hepatitis C or HIV. The complaint also cites billing fraud, changing of records to conceal malpractice and false advertising.

Bonnie Brunson and husband Carl Brunson and Helen Meyer, an individual, are named as plaintiffs in the complaint filed in Clark County District Court.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/your-health/doctors-efforts-raise-alarm-about-desai-rebuffed

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-27/unitedhealth-unit-accused-of-failing-to-monitor-doctor.html​

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51351444/ns/local_news-las_vegas_nv/t/jury-hearing-closings-vegas-hep-c-insurers-case/#.UVorHL_FX-k

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Sharon Christal

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