Healthcare Companies Are Hit with $500 Million Verdict After patients in Nevada Were Infected with Hepatitis C
Two affiliates of the UnitedHealth Group have been hit with a $500 million verdict over a hepatitis C outbreak in Nevada.
The case demonstrates how large amounts of money can be awarded when a jury opts for punitive damages to punish a defendant.
Reuters reported the case involved two patients who claimed they became “infected with hepatitis C, a disease that attacks the liver, because their gastroenterologist used allegedly unsafe injection practices for an endoscopy.”
In this case they argued that UnitedHealth should be held responsible for the serious illnesses they suffered because the gastroenterologist who was involved was part of the company’s network and the insurer “should have known about allegedly unsafe practices.”
According to Reuters this case could set an important precedent leading health insurance companies to monitor the practices of member hospitals and doctors.
Just a week earlier the same court in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas awarded $24 million in compensatory damages in favor of the patients and one of their spouses.
In its punitive award the jury, it assessed $270 million to Health Plan of Nevada and $230 million to Sierra Health Services, said Sharon Christal, a spokeswoman for a law firm representing the plaintiffs.
As a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach, I see many instances of unsafe practices in hospitals.
Hepatitis c is a chronic and life threatening condition. No patient ever expects to be subjected to unsafe practices by doctors who are there to help them.
The Norfolk, VA based personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley with client meeting locations in Virginia Beach and Hampton, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice. Attorneys John Cooper and Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in specializing in auto injury as well as other accident claims. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA. Our motto is: “Your Injury. Our fight.” If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or contact us through this website.